Reading Acts

John began the Gospel by declaring the Word was God in the beginning (1:1), but the Word became flesh (1:14). This balances the divinity of Jesus with his real human flesh.

What are the opponents teaching about Jesus? The usual suggestions include Docetism (Jesus only appeared to have real flesh since human flesh is by nature evil), Cerenthus (the earthly Jesus is different than heavenly Jesus), or even a teaching that Jesus was flesh, but his flesh was important for our salvation (Von Wahlde, Epistles of John, 142-43). The problem is the later descriptions of these classic Christological heresies fit what John says. Perhaps it is better to take this false teaching about Jesus John is concerned about as similar to these later rejected Christologies.

For John, the test is not that someone should confess Jesus was really human, but that they confess Jesus Christ, the one who has…

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