Friday, August 30, 2013

John Hick Explains the Distinction Between BIOS and ZOH in Johannine Literature

"In Johannine terms, the movement from the image to the likeness [of God] is a transition from one level of existence, that of animal life(Bios), to another and higher level, that of eternal life(Zoe), which includes but transcends
the first. And the fall of man was seen by Irenaeus as a failure within the second phase of this creative process, a failure that has multiplied the perils and complicated the route of the journey in which God is seeking to lead mankind."

ZOH may include but transcend BIOS in the case of humans, but we would not apply the term BIOS to Jehovah, Christ or the angels (as well as the 144,000 who are raised from the dead). If it's correct to say that BIOS refers to "animal life" or biological organisms (as commonly understood) then God (or those spirits he has created) should not have the term BIOS applied to him. Elsewhere in the same work, Hick describes BIOS as "the biological life of man" [or animals] which is to be contrasted with ZOH.

See Hick's work here:


Anonymous said...

Hi brother Foster,

I very much wanted to get your thoughts on Matt. 24:22 as respects the Greek word koloboo, which is translated "were cut short" by most translations.

It is my contention that a better rendering into 21st century English vernacular would be "were interrupted" or "were stopped short", and here is why I take that position:

From what I can see, koloboo simply means "to mutilate, amputate, prune", and nothing more. It does not carry or embody any idea of 'shortening by speeding up'.

In fact, by the very nature of the Greek word itself, completion of that which is "koloboo" (or cut short) is not allowed. In other words, the very nature of the Greek word signifies 'to prevent completion'. If you amputate a limb, you prevent its being completed. Koloboo disallows completion, it does not in any way facilitate it.

The 1st-century fulfillment verifies this view. The siege of Jerusalem was "cut short" (interrupted) in 66CE, preventing the completion of the siege and the foretold desolation of the city. Thus, the tribulation was "mutilated, amputated, pruned", which necessitated a 2nd siege in 70CE. It was just as Jesus had foretold - the disgusting thing would stand in the holy place, but before standing could move into "desolating", the days were "koloboo" - interrupted - as the Romans suddenly withdrew.

Therefore, I do not see any justification in the Greek nor in the Scriptures themselves for the modern idea that "completion" is inherent in the 'cutting short' (koloboo) of the days. In our modern ideas we assume that the siege will be completed, as by Jehovah speeding it up or making short work of it. But "completion" absolutely is not allowed, if we faithfully stick to the Greek and to the pattern laid down for us in the 1st century.

Fundamentally, I believe this is an issue of what measure of leeway Jehovah allows us with respect to his inspired Word. My view is more restrictive than that of the faithful slave on this issue. I do not believe we have the authorization, or the need for that matter, to exercise this kind of leeway.

Now, one may well become fanatical in such a position, and I do not wish to become so. That is a very unwise snare, one motivated primarily by arrogance and greed - only one channel of truth exists, and it is the faithful slave alone.

But I think this issue needs to be discussed openly and respectfully as we all search out the prophetic truth of God's Word. If I am correct in my position, then there must occur in our day two distinct sieges against Babylon, just as there occurred two distinct sieges against the apostate religious system in the 1st century, with the 2nd siege being the one that actually destroys her. There is actually very powerful support for this in the prophecy of Matt. 24 itself.

But if you decide to post this message, please feel free to edit it as you see fit - I trust your judgment completely. Looking forward to your observations on the matter.

William Stroupe

Edgar Foster said...

Brother Stroupe,

Sorry for the delay in answering, but I do believe you are correct about Mt 24:22. We must keep in mind how koloboo is used within this context. When employed this way by a writer of Greek, it does suggest that action is being interrupted. While it's a dated source, note what we read in Thayer's Lexicon: