What did Jesus mean by 'God' in John 7:17


#1

“My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own.” (John 7:16-17)

It seems Jesus is indirectly saying that he is not God. By the way, I do believe Jesus is God, but I find it difficult to understand this verse. Someone please enlighten me on this.


#2

In context here, the Jews are asking him in the verses preceding “on whose authority does he teach?”. According to Jeff Cavins in the Bible timeline, all the rabbis at that time taught in the name of some other great teacher, but Jesus claimed to speak on his own authority, which came from God. So they were wondering whether his authority really came from God, or from just some man who claimed to be God.


#3

Thanks buddy, good answer. :thumbsup: The question :confused: had bothered me for a long time! :slight_smile:


#4

You’re welcome!

God Bless.


#5

I was initially satisfied with abenassi’s explanation. But I still need further clarification.


#6

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 16. My doctrine is not mine; i.e. not mine only, but also the Father’s; from whom I proceed, and with whom I am always. (Witham)


#7

“Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own.”

What does this mean?

Consider this parallel:

Anyone who resolves to do the will of Mr. Williams will know whether the teaching is from Mr. Williams or whether I am speaking on my own.

That indirectly means I’m not Mr. Williams.


#8

In fact, he is affirming the opposite.

He gives two options:

  1. His teaching is his own (Jesus son of Mary).
  2. His teaching is God’s.

Given that what he was teaching was viewed as contrary to Jewish tradition, how could his teaching be God’s if he and God were not one?

The Jews of his day believed that the days of God speaking through the prophets ended before the Second Temple was built. This eliminated the third option—that Jesus was a prophet. This, by the way, is also a refutation of the Muslim claim that Jesus was a prophet—and nothing more.


#9

I liked your explanation, but just give me a reference to this.

Is it written anywhere in scripture that the Jews of his days believed that the days of God speaking through the prophets ended?

Thanks.


#10

In the book of John, when he uses the word God as title or person, it generally refers to God the Father.

John 1:18
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

John 6:46
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.

And, yet there are plently of texts that say people have seen God in the OT. My theory is that they say the Son of God, not the Father.


#11

Actually, I just happened to be listening to The Teaching Company’s “Beginnings of Judaism” course where the lecturer made this point. I’d suggest seeking out a reference on differences between the 1st and 2nd Temple Jewish theology to get closer to the source material. There may be indications in Scripture, but I think the definitive answer lay in Jewish tradition, on which I can only rely on people who know better than I do.

This is the only book I see in print for the lecturer, Isaiah Gafni:

amazon.com/Land-Center-Diaspora-Constructs-Supplements/dp/1850756449/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214678305&sr=8-1


#12

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