Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

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Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Paidion » Tue May 26, 2015 8:27 am

According to most translations of John 9:2-4, a man was born blind so that God's works could be revealed in him. For Jesus (or God through Jesus) healed him of his blindness. For example here is how the NKJV reads:

2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.
4 "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.


Does this seem reasonable? That God would cause this man to be born blind, to endure blindness throughout his childhood and part of his adulthood, just in order to heal him and receive glory for it? Or do we just dismiss this to say, "We don't understand God's ways with our 'human' reasoning" or "God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform" or "We can't expect God to do things the way WE think is best. He does what He wants."

None of these "answers" really answer anything. This is a moral problem, and God is the most moral being in the universe! God is LOVE. Would the God of love do such a thing?

Before ascribing such an act to God, we should first examine the text carefully, and see whether it is indeed translated correctly. As most of you know, Hellenistic Greek (the form of Greek used from 300 B.C. to 300 A.D.) was written all in capitals, with no spaces between words, and no punctuation other than a short line over some words to indicated that they were abbreviations.

Here is a way to punctuate the passage in such a way as to give an entirely different meaning to it:

2 And His disciples asked HIm, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

3,4 Jesus answered, "Neither this man NOR his parents sinned. But in order that the works of God might be revealed in him, it is necessary to work the works of Him who sent Me, while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Cindy Skillman » Tue May 26, 2015 8:47 am

Wow! Thanks so much, Don. That has bothered me since I was a young girl. I always just figured I must not understand it, and you have finally cleared it up. I very much appreciate that. :)
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Geoffrey » Tue May 26, 2015 10:43 am

I agree with your punctuation, Paidion.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Paidion » Tue May 26, 2015 2:22 pm

Thank you, Cindy. And Geoffey, too. Your responses have greatly encouraged me, after reading the adverse responses to this same posting on a different forum.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Jepne » Tue May 26, 2015 3:12 pm

I have been delighted since Paidion first brought this up. I have posted it on my facebook page. We'll see what happens there. Dum de dum dum.

I am wondering if it disturbs people because it shows that perhaps the Bible just might could be in some manner, mispunctuated, which would make the whole thing, hmmm, perchance, fallible somehow, and that is a very upsetting thought. :o
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Jepne » Tue May 26, 2015 3:15 pm

For instance, "I tell you this day, you will be with me in paradise." Like, ''I'm telling you right now, you can know for sure, that in that Day, you will be with me in paradise.''
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Geoffrey » Tue May 26, 2015 5:07 pm

Even from a purely grammatical view, Paidion, your punctuation makes more sense. The usual punctuation seems awkward, but yours seems straight-forward and even obvious:

"Who sinned?"

"Nobody." [period]

Then Jesus, having concisely answered their question, went on to explain the forthcoming miracle.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby MikeWatson » Wed May 27, 2015 2:10 am

I did some research on John 9 a couple of years ago - I couldn't square goodness with a being that would make a person blind for their own ends.

I stumbled across a PhD paper which was looking at the translation of the Greek word "hina". The conclusion regarding the passage is that "nevertheless" would be a better translation than "in order that".

The paper can be found here: https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/1395

its a bit of a read - 400 pages - especially for a non-linguist like me, but helped me considerably with the passage in John 9.

Here's the abstract of the paper:

This thesis uses insights from a modern theory of communication, Relevance Theory, to
examine the function of certain particles - in particular the conjunction hina - in Koine
Greek. This particle has been regarded from the time of Classical Greek as an introducer
of purpose clauses and so has been thought to have the lexical meaning of ‘in order that.’
More recently, however, scholars have recognised that in the New Testament at least, no
more than 60% of the uses of hina merit such a translation, with a considerable number
of independent clauses being introduced by this particle also. Apart from the New
Testament it is the case that pagan writers of Koine used this particle to introduce a
wider range of clauses than merely those with a telic relationship to the main clause of
the sentence. This is particularly noticeable in the Discourses of Epictetus, a philosopher
who taught in the latter half of the first century of the Christian era. In addition,
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a notable critic of literary style and the historian Polybius,
both writing within the Koine period used hina to introduce indirect commands and noun
clauses as well as purpose clauses. The frequency of such uses (approximately 10% of
all the instances of this particle) in their writings is considerably less than that of
Epictetus, but those uses are nevertheless present in their works. Since iota-nu-alpha was used for
this wider range of clauses by pagan, non-Jewish authors, some of whom spoke Greek as
their first language, it seems extremely implausible to attribute such use to the
incompetence of the implied authors of the New Testament, or ‘Semitic interference’.
Since the many instances of non-telic hina in the New Testament are identified with
reference to the context in which they occur, the telic instances should also be deduced
from such context. I claim that the function of this particle is not to introduce a purpose
clause nor does it have a fixed lexical meaning of ‘in order that’, but rather that it alerts
the reader to expect an interpretation of the thought of the speaker or implied author. Of
course in many instances a clause introduced by hina will be a purpose clause, but this is
inferred from context rather than solely from the presence of this particle. This thesis
proposes a unified account of the function of hina which fits the developing pattern of the
language and relates it to the particle o(/ti, and provides a theoretical basis for its use as
an indicator of speaker or subject’s thought, thus enabling a reader to re-examine biblical
texts whose interpretation has been problematic to date.


Regards,

Mike
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby steve7150 » Wed May 27, 2015 5:18 pm

I am wondering if it disturbs people because it shows that perhaps the Bible just might could be in some manner, mispunctuated, which would make the whole thing, hmmm, perchance, fallible somehow, and that is a very upsetting thought.





Well Jepne i think it's pretty well known there were no punctuations in the koine greek but it rarely made much difference, but in the cases that it does, we can have some whoppers, like maybe this.

Thanks Paidion, great post!
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Paidion » Thu May 28, 2015 11:54 am

Mike, the translation of "ἱνα" (hina) as "nevertheless" in John 9:3 would be pretty handy for our purpose. But realistically, the word never means "nevertheless." The word occurs at least 340 times in the New Testament, and "nevetheless" makes no sense in any of those places except John 9:3. However,"that", "in order that", "so that" or "in order to" seems to make sense in all of them.

The Online Bible Greek lexicon states that the word means "that, in order that, so that."
In the NASB Greek lexicon, we find the following: "A prime conjuction denoting purpose, definition, or result; in order that, that, so that..."
In Strong's Greek Lexicon, we find this definition: "in order that (denoting the purpose or the result).
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby MikeWatson » Fri May 29, 2015 8:20 am

Paidion,

did you read the paper at all? It does give other places where the usual translation may be improved upon, not just John 9: 3.

Regards,

Mike
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Paidion » Fri May 29, 2015 9:44 am

Yes, Mike. I read the paper. But I addressed only the meaning of the word ἱνα because that was the matter under discussion.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Gabe Grinstead » Fri May 29, 2015 3:10 pm

Thanks for the post Paidion. I would be more than willing to wager a lot of money to say that you have hit the nail on the head with this one.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Paidion » Fri May 29, 2015 6:45 pm

Thank you so much for your encouragement, Gabe.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Chrisguy90 » Sat May 30, 2015 7:59 am

Just more evidence that Paidon ought to make his own translation of the New Testament.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby pilgrim » Sat May 30, 2015 10:58 am

Hi Mike
I didn't read the 296 pages as Paidion says he did, but I wonder if your 'nevertheless' comes from the word 'alla' (which can mean 'nevertheless') which precedes 'hina'.
That said, I note this information about 'hina':
According to a very ancient tenet of the grammarians, accepted by Kühner, § 563, 2 Anm. 3; (T. S. Green, N. T. Gram., p. 172f), and not utterly rejected by Alex. Alexander Buttmann (1873) N. T. Gr., p. 238f (206), ἵνα is alleged to be used not only τελικως, i. e. of design and end, but also frequently ἐκβατικως, i. e. of the result, signifying with the issue, that; with the result, that; so that (equivalent to ὥστε). But C. F. A. Fritzsche on Matthew, p. 836ff and Winer's 338 (317) and 457ff (426ff) have clearly shown, that in all the passages adduced from the N. T. to prove this usage the telic (or final) force prevails: thus in ἵνα μή λυθῇ ὁ νόμος Μωϋσέως, that the law of Moses may not be broken (which directs a man to be circumcised on the eighth and on no other day), John 7:23; οὐκ ἐστε ἐν σκότει, ἵνα ἡ ἡμέρα ὑμᾶς ... καταλάβῃ, that the day should overtake you (cf. the final force as brought out by turning the sentence into the passive form in German umvomTageerfusstzuwerden), 1 Thessalonians 5:4;

from here:
http://biblehub.com/greek/2443.htm
so I do not dismiss your input that out of over 600 uses of the word in the NT, some might simply imply a result rather than an intention from the onset.
However, I do like Paidion's suggestion regarding a different application of our punctuation.
Interesting topic.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Paidion » Sat May 30, 2015 7:36 pm

Hi Pilgrim,

Yes, "hina" often or usually implies a result or end as indicated in your quote. That's why "in order to" is a correct translation in many or most cases.

If I chain my goat in order to prevent it from eating the fruit trees, then I chain my goat so that the result of chaining it will be its not eating the fruit trees. The word "nevertheless" simply does not fit.

The word "alla" means "but." In the 12 occurences in the New Testament, The ESV renders the word "alla" as "nevertheless" in 4 of these occurences." However, in each of these 4, the translation "but" would make perfect sense also.

Also, in John 9:3, "nevertheless" doesn't seem to fit as a translation of "alla."
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Chrisguy90 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:04 pm

Paidion, ever thought of making your own NT translation? I'd get a lot out of it.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Paidion » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:02 pm

Chris, I'm 77—a bit old to be starting such a major project. I have translated small portions of it.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Geoffrey » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:29 pm

Paidion wrote:I'm 77—a bit old to be starting such a major project. I have translated small portions of it.


According to the actuarial table, it is a good bet that you have another decade of earthly life. There are 7,956 verses in the New Testament. That comes to translating about 795 verses per year, which is about 15 verses per week, which is about 2 verses per day. :)

My father-in-law (who is 82 years old) recently finished copying the entire Bible with a pen into notebooks--from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. :shock:
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Paidion » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:08 pm

No. I won't be translating the New Testament. However, since you are so adamant, I will offer a few short passages which I have translated:

I Corinthians 13
1. If I speak in the languages of mankind and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal,
2. and if I have prophecy and know all secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to transfer mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3. And if I feed away all my possessions and deliver my body to be burned and do not have love, it is of no advantage to me.
4. Love is patient; it is kind; it is not envious. Love does not boast or is not arrogant.
5. It does not behave unbecomingly; it is not self-seeking; it does not get irritated; it does not take stock of wrongs suffered.
6. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in reality.
7. It covers everyone; it believes everyone; it expects [the best of] everyone; it endures everyone.
8. Love never falls. As for prophecies, they will become inoperative. As for tongues, they will cease. As for knowledge, it will be rendered inoperative.
9. For we know partially and we prophesy partially.
10. But when the complete comes, the incomplete will become inoperative.
11. When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I thought as a child; I reasoned as a child. When I became a man, I put an end to childish ways.
12. For now we see through a mirror, obscurely but then face to face. Now I know partially, but then will know thoroughly even as I am thoroughly known.
13. So now, faith, hope, and love remain—these three. But the greatest of these is love.

Note: Mirrors were different in those days. They were metallic, and often gave a dim or distored image.

John 12:1-8
1. Let not your heart be troubled; trust in God; trust also in me.
2. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again to take you along with me, so that where I am, you also may be.
4. And you perceive the road where I am going.
5. Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not perceive where you are going, how can we perceive the road?”
6. Jesus said to him, “I am the road, the reality, and the life. No one comes toward the Father except through me.”
7. “If you had perceived me, you would have perceived my Father also. From now on, you perceive Him and have experienced Him.”
8. Philip said to Him, “Lord, give evidence of the Father to us, and we shall be content.”

John 1:1-18
1:1-5
In the Beginning [of time] was the Expression [of GOD] and the Expression was pro-GOD and the Expression was Deity. This one was pro-GOD in the Beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. That which came to be in him, was life, and the life was the light of human beings, and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overtake it.

1:6-14
There came to be, a man who had been sent from GOD, his name -- John. This one came for a witness so that he might bear witness concerning the light, so that all should believe through him. He was not that light, but [he came] in order that he should witness concerning the light. He [the Expression] was the real light which illuminates every person who comes into the world system. He was in the world system and the world system came to be, though him, and the world system does not know him. He came to his own things, and his own people did not receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the authority to become children of GOD -- to those trusting into his name, the ones who are generated out of God, not out of bloods, nor out of the will of the flesh, nor out of the will of a man. And the Expression [of God] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we gazed at his glory, the glory of the only-generated from a Father, full of grace and reality.

1:15-18
John witnessed about him and cried out saying, “This was he whom I said, ‘The one coming after me has come to be, before me, because he was prior to me.” Because out of the filling of him, we all received, grace in place of grace. No one has ever seen God. The only-generated God, the one who is in the Father’s bosom, he has revealed him.

A Commentary on the first 18 verses of John 1

Verse 1:
In the Beginning [of time] was the Expression [of GOD]

The Greek word “λογος” (logos) refers to an expression of oneself. It is usually translated as “word”. I do not say that this is a poor translation. In English “word” is used in this way. Someone may say, “Joe is going to give us a word.” However, this translation can be confusing since “word” in English also refers to “A single unit of meaning formed by a sound or sounds” [American Heritage Dictionary].

Some suppose that, because “logos” means “expression” and that it expresses the thought of the one who gives the word, that in this context, it denotes the mind or thought or reasoning of God --- that it is impersonal, but is personified in the context as a figure of speech. My belief is that the word is used of Jesus, and that He is called “the logos” because He expressed God the Father to mankind when He lived on earth. That’s why He could say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” [John 14:9].

and the Expression was pro-GOD

This is usually translated that the logos or “word” was with God. But this also is confusing, for our first thought is that the logos was physically close to God. But there are other Greek prepositions for “with” in that sense. The Greek word “προς” (pros) usually means “toward” but can mean “with” in the sense of sharing the thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, etc. of another person. We use “with” in this sense when Jack expresses himself and Sam says, “I’m with you, Jack.” In Greek, the word for God is “θεος” (theos). If the word is preceded by the article as in “‘ο θεος” (the God), then the Father is meant. This seems to be so in every case in which “θεος” stands alone (is not modified by an adjective or an adjectival phrase).

and the Expression was Deity.

This phrase is usually translated, “and the word was God”. Some people read it emphasizing the word “was”. In doing so, they imply that the “word” and “God” are identical. But this is not the case since “θεος” is not preceded by the article. In addition, the word order is changed: “θεος ‘ην ‘ο λογος” (God was the word). This word order is used elsewhere in the New Testament. For example:

God is love [ I John 4:16] “‘o θεος ‘αγαπη ‘εστιν” (God love is). Love is the kind of thing God is, the kind of “stuff” of which He consists ---- His essence.

Your word is reality. [John 17:17]. “‘o λογος ‘ο σος ‘αληθεια ‘εστιν” (The word of you reality is) Reality is the kind of thing God’s word is. It’s the stuff of which His word consists --- the essence of His word.

Thus: The Expression was Deity [John 1:1] “θεος ‘ην ‘ο λογος” (Deity was the Expression). Deity is the kind of thing that the Expression was. It is the stuff of which He consists ---- His very essence.

Martin Luther concurred with this understanding. Whatever else he might have been, Luther was a good Greek scholar. He put it quite succinctly, saying that the lack of an article is against Sabellianism and the word order is against Arianism.

Sabellianism was a form of modalism or “oneness”, the idea that God is a single divine Individual who reveals Himself in three modes, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Arianism may have originated from the early Christian teaching that the Son of God was begotten by God before all ages, and being God’s only begotten Son, he was therefore fully deity. Arius himself, when writing in 321 A.D. to Eusebius bishop of Nicodemia, referred to the Son as “fully God”:

“But what we say and think we both have taught and continue to teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor part of the unbegotten in any way, nor is he derived from any substance; but that by his own will and counsel he existed before times and ages, fully God, only-begotten, unchangeable.”

However, Arius was perceived by Martin Luther and many others, as having taught that Christ was “a lesser god”. This thought may have arisen from Arius’s error in teaching that since the Son was begotten before all ages as an act of God, there must have been a time at which He did not exist.

So the Logos of God was Deity. He was not God Himself. Nor was He part of a Trinity. He Himself in His prayer declared His Father to be the only true God:

John 17:3 "This is lasting life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

By the addition of “and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”, Jesus indicates that He is other than “the only true God”.

Verses 2-5
This one was pro-GOD in the Beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. That which came to be in him, was life, and the life was the light of human beings, and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overtake it.

Life came to be in Jesus, and this life was the light of people. Nevertheless, this life or light was Jesus Himself. He said that He was the life. He also declared Himself to be the Light of the World (John 8:12 and 9:5) What is in a person can be the essence of that person. Our own thoughts and emotions are we ourselves!

6-8
There came to be, a man who had been sent from GOD, his name -- John. This one came for a witness so that he might bear witness concerning the light, so that all should believe through him. He was not that light, but [he came] in order that he should witness concerning the light.

Clearly John the Baptizer bore witness to Christ the light of the world, so that all should believe through Him (Christ). The gospels unmistakably indicate that John announced the coming of the Messiah prior to His coming..

9-10
He [the Expression] was the real light which illuminates every person who comes into the world system. He was in the world system and the world system came to be, though him, and the world system does not know him.

Through Christ, the world system came to be. But in its creation, it was not a twisted, evil, corrupt world system such as it came to be after sin entered it. Yet Christ continue to illuminate every person who comes into it. This may explain how some non-disciples can be so loving and caring of others. Notwithstanding, the world system in general does not know Christ.

11-13
He came to his own things, and his own people did not receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the authority to become children of GOD -- to those trusting into his name, the ones who are begotten out of God, not out of bloods, nor out of the will of the flesh, nor out of the will of a man but of God.

Jesus came to His own things. Which things were they? Doubtless the things which came into being through Him. He came to them by way of His human birth. But generally, His own people did not receive Him. But He gave to them who did receive Him the authority to become the children of God. Today we hear, “Just receive Jesus as your personal Saviour, and you will immediately become a child of God.” But that is not what John taught He taught that it is merely the first step, a step whereby Christ gives you the authority to become a child of God. For one must not only receive Him, but submit to Him. As one begins to entrust themselves to Christ, they become begotten of God, and as they continue in Him, they will eventually be born into the resurrection.

14
And the expression [of God] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we gazed at his glory, the glory of the only-generated from a Father, full of grace and reality.

Christ, the Expression of God, became flesh by being born as a human being. He was a real human being, not “God clothed in human flesh” as some would have it. As a baby he cried (in spite of the Xmas carol to the contrary) and wet his diapers (or the equivalent in those days). He grew up increasing in wisdom and stature. His mind had to mature just as any normal kid. He had no intrinsic miraculous powers. Every miracle which the Father performed through Him was a consequence of His complete relationship with His Father.

15-17
John witnessed about him and cried out saying, “This was he whom I said, ‘The one coming after me has come to be, before me, because he was prior to me.” Because out of the filling of him, we all received, grace in place of grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and reality came to be through Jesus Christ.

John announced Christ, and because of God’s filling Him with every grace, we have received grace, only to have it replaced by an even deeper grace. God gave the law through Moses. The law was unable to produce consistently righteous people. But the enabling grace of God which was made available to us through Jesus opens the possibility and even the actuality of righteousness in God’s children. Thus righteousness become a reality in one’s life

No one has ever seen God. The only-begotten God, the one who is in the Father’s bosom, he has revealed him.

The Son of God was the only God who was begotten. God our Father, the only true God, was not begotten but was simply there at the beginning of time. No one has ever seen God. Moses didn’t see God; the prophets didn’t see God. They may have seen Him in visions, but they didn’t really see Him in actuality. If they had seen Him, they would have known Him. But the only-begotten God knows Him as He really is, and therefore was able to reveal Him to us, both by His teaching and by His example.
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Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby corpselight » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:29 am

Thanks, Don. I've been discussing the idea of God being morally responsible for setting up a creation in which things like blindness can happen, and though this doesn't answer that question (nobody so far has), it gives a better view. The idea that God could be glorified by that, if He orchestrated it in the first place, is pretty repugnant.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Dondi » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:14 am

One thing to consider is that some in Jewish circles at the believed in the preexistence of souls, maybe even reincarnation. You see hints of that when Jesus asks who the people say I am and they say, Some Elijah or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. Obviously, I'm not trying to espouse the idea of reincarnation, but if some thought that this blind man had sinned in a past life, then its not hard to imagine that he is getting punished from that sin. for how could they say he sinned at the time of his birth.
"...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." - Matthew 25:40
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby steve7150 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:37 pm

but if some thought that this blind man had sinned in a past life, then its not hard to imagine that he is getting punished from that sin. for how could they say he sinned at the time of his birth.










Yes it's true plus some believed the baby in the womb could have sinned.
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Eaglesway » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:19 am

When we hear the word glory, in relation to God, we hear "credit", "fanfare", "acclaim for greatness". This not what glory really is. Glory is the presence of God. It is the emination of His essence in a way that can be perceived, and acknowledged. It is the evidence of union with God, and expression of His indwelling in us and manifestations toward us.

Romans 8 explains that the creation was not subjected to futility of its own accord- but it was subjected in hope. Hope with God is not as hope with man. Man hopes and it is like this, "I hope this or that happens." When in reference to God, His hope is simply the as yet unfulfilled but predetermined goal of His plan- who causes all things to work according to the counsel of His will. That is why "Hope makes not ashamed", and we "exult in the hope of the glory of God"- which is the fulfillment of the promise that God will be all in all.

That is why the truth of the restoration of all things is so imprtant to the gospel. Without it, there is no context from which to determine His plan from the beginning, which was to create a family of friends who share intimately and fully the joy of absolute freedom in absolute love in unrestricted fellowship.

So we must go to the original purpose of God(to become all in all n a huge family of creation) to understand the method of God, which was to create us in perfection, then to teach us through chaos what we could never learn through perfection, and to share that learning with us through Christ in a way that makes us one from both directions.

We think as if this life and living it is the goal. It is not. Life is the method through which God achieves the goal, our education- which is a superficial word for "revealing His glory in us", by giving us all things in Christ as sons and daughters.

So.....futility is the set. Within it chaos spins and wrecks havoc with our best intentions. In every life the end result will be the same. His glory revealed within an "educated" being. A being fully open and aware of love as grace poured out upon dry ground to yield trees of life. In this age suffering is the lot of all mankind. Within the futility many chaotic destructive events occur as the result of our state of being- which is chaotic due to self will.

The chaos is the result of God having given us the reins. His goal is that we will learn to give them back to Him, so He can give them back to us as we become more like Him, until finally He is all in all, and there is no longer any need for rule, power and authority.

So God does not blind someone so that He can get glory(fame renown credit acclaim). Blindness and all the attendant evils of futility are the result of the method through which God bound all things in chaos, until all things should be restored by ever-increasing manifestations of love. Love is the glory of God, and we are a sort of first-fruits of His (new)creation. He is intervening in the chaotic state of our futility in order to draw us into His glory, which is the new creation- the total fusion of God within His creatures. That's why the whole creation will be set free from futility into the "glorious liberty of the children of God".

Jesus is "the radiance of the Father's glory and exact representation of His nature"(Heb 1).

The mystery of God is Christ in you is the hope of glory.

I think Paidon's translation is excellent, and more accurately renders the thoughts of the speaker and the perceptions of the hearers in their time(which is the ultimate goal of translation).

Jesus could have said, "Adam sinned, so we have some blind and some lepers and wars and criminals and famine and plague, but I am going to fix all that."

But He said, essentially, "The man's blindness is not because of sin, it is because of the night, so I will do what I have come to do while it is yet day(totally a paraphrase)". He came to redeem and restore, so that the glory of God- His great love for all His creation, could be made manifest through His Son first, and through us also now and in the ages to come.(Eph 2:7)
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby maintenanceman » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:50 am

Eaglesway wrote:We think as if this life and living it is the goal. It is not.





I kind of like this!

We are complex beings with a complex creator.
We could study 24/7/365 for the rest of our lives and not understand it all.
But it is fun trying!
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Re: Did God Cause a Man to be Born Blind?

Postby Eaglesway » Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:53 pm

Yes it is, especially when we are trying together ;o)
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