DID YESHUA THE MESSIAH

Have a Pre-Carnal Existence? - Chapter 10

 

Part II – The Enhanced Public Debate Presentation

 

By Larry Acheson

 

A Response to Chuck Henry’s book

Trinity, Oneness, Duality, and Pre-Existence

 


X.  Where He Was Before 

  

T

his portion of my study, like the preceding chapters about Philo and Justin Martyr, was not a part of my actual debate presentation.  A month before the debate, I was compelled to cut out my section titled “Where He Was Before” because I realized it would put me too far over my time limit.  As it turns out, in the last minute of my presentation, since I had a little over a minute left on the clock, I actually tried squeezing it in.  That wasn’t a sound approach on my part because I shouldn’t have started something knowing I wouldn’t be able to finish.  With that in mind, what follows is an expanded version of what I would have included if I would have had the time.

   

      Apart from Biblical Unitarians making this topic a salvational issue, my chief concern lies with their manipulation of Scripture texts, essentially force-fitting them into their pre-determined doctrinal mold.  Having already seen what they do to John 6:42 is disturbing enough (i.e., “All good things come down from heaven”), but regrettably, we don’t have to look far to see another example of how Chuck Henry distorts the context of Biblical accounts in his effort to justify his doctrinal view.  In fact, we don’t need to look any further than this same chapter of John, John chapter six.  To ensure you don’t miss any context, I recommend reading the entire chapter before proceeding with the following commentary.  I say this because Chuck is adamant that those who believe Yeshua had a pre-carnal existence miss the context of Yeshua’s words in this chapter.

      Yeshua’s disciples knew that what He had just told the Jews was difficult to handle and they began murmuring.  I can almost hear them questioning, “What does He mean, ‘He that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me’?” (John 6:57). 

      When Yeshua perceived their confusion, He asked them, “Does this offend you?  What and if you shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?” (John 6:62). 

      And just where was He before Well, just in case you overlooked it during your initial reading of this chapter, He had just finished telling the Jews that He had descended from heaven.  So where was He before?  Heaven!  If He was in heaven before, then He ascends up to where He was before, where is He going?  Let’s read it: 

60 Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?

61 When Yeshua knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto then, Does this offend you?

62 What and if you shall see the Son of man ASCEND UP [Greek anabaino, #305 in Strong’s] where He was before

      I’m all about “easy,” so this one is super easy Or at least it should be.  Yeshua had just told the Jews, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” which means before He came down, He was in heaven.  So if He ascends up to where He was before, that means He’s going back to heaven, which in turn means He had a pre-carnal existence.  That’s context.  Gleaning this understanding should be pretty simple, but Biblical Unitarians complicate matters by saying He didn’t really mean He came down from heaven and what He really meant is, “All good things come from above.”  We addressed the folly of this argument in chapter five.  Of course, if Yeshua really came down from heaven, then this means He had a pre-carnal existence, which in turn destroys Biblical Unitarian doctrine.  Biblical Unitarians need to either reject the testimony as recorded by the Apostle John (as some do) or they need to come up with an explanation.  They choose the latter and their explanation is, “Yeshua didn’t mean what He said.”  We’ve seen that they use this device with their explanation about what Yeshua meant when He said He came down from heaven.  We’re about to see they use this same device with their explanation of Yeshua’s asking His disciples what they would think if they saw Him ascend up to where He was before.  Since Biblical Unitarians are adamant that Yeshua didn’t really mean what He said in either instance, it’s entirely up to you what you choose to believe.  Just remember that however you lean, the truth will still be the truth. 

      So what did Yeshua mean when He asked, “What and if you shall see the Son of Man ascend up to where He was before?”  If Biblical Unitarians thought they had a difficult time spinning the “true meaning” of Yeshua’s words when He said He’s the bread that came down from heaven, think of their consternation in trying to figure out what He “really meant” when He asked His disciples what they would think if they saw Him ascend up to where He was before!  The problem is, those words from Yeshua, in and of themselves, disprove Biblical Unitarian doctrine, so the discussion should be over.  However, unlike the Biblical Unitarian Ebionites who simply rejected the book of John, 21st century Biblical Unitarians spin the book of John and if we aren’t careful, we’ll fall into the same trap they’ve chosen to enter.  It is now time to examine, once again, how and why Biblical Unitarians teach Yeshua didn’t really mean what He said. That’s why this chapter of our study is here. 

      I’m trying to think of how Yeshua could have been clearer about FROM WHERE He descended and TO WHERE He was going to ASCEND.  In spite of His clarity, Chuck Henry says that’s not what Yeshua meant.  According to Chuck (paraphrasing), what Yeshua meant is, “What would y’all think if I came up from the grave and [then] you see Me alive as I was before?”  Again, according to Chuck, I misunderstand Yeshua’s words because when He said, “What and if you shall see the Son of man ASCEND UP where He was before?” what He MEANT was, “What and if you shall see the Son of man AFTER He’s risen from the grave and is alive as He was before?”[1]  As shocking as all this is, Chuck goes on to say his understanding of what Yeshua meant “fits the context” of John chapter six.  No other understanding, at least in Chuck’s book, is even worthy of discussion.  Here’s a screen capture from the pertinent page of Trinity, Oneness, Duality, and Pre-Existence:[2]  I admit I somewhat “tainted” the screen capture with my red underlining and comment, which I composed out of utter disbelief over what I was reading:

      I’m not quite sure where to begin with my analysis of the above page from Chuck Henry’s book.  First, I consider his comment that “ascending from the grave” better fits the context than “ascending to where He was before” to be an insult to the intelligence of any unbiased believer who is capable of reading and thinking for himself or herself.  Actually, if you review what Chuck wrote in this particular section of his book, he offers his “context” as the only option worthy of consideration.  I here reinforce the fact that Yeshua had just told the Jews that He had come down from heaven and in the same setting He asks His disciples what they would think if they saw Him ascending to where He was before.  Since where He was before is heaven, that’s a “surefire” clue He was referring to His ascension to heaven.  That is context.

 

Confusing the Words “Rise and Ascend”

 

      Next, Chuck assumes the role of a “wordsmith,” but he fails, mismatching the words “rise” and “ascend” in a misguided effort to make them appear synonymous.  While both words are similar in meaning in the sense of “getting up,” that’s where the similitude ends.  They are two different words with two different applications, both in Greek and in English.  To illustrate this point, please consider that “Rising from bed” and “Ascending a staircase” are simply not the same kind of “going up”!  Would you say that you “ascended from bed” this morning? 

      Not only does Chuck mismatch the applications of the words “rise” and “ascend,” but he also alters Yeshua’s description of what the disciples were to “see.”  Yeshua asked the disciples what they would think if they saw Him ascend to where He was before.  To clarify, in Yeshua’s scenario, the disciples would SEE Him doing something, i.e., ascending.  In Chuck’s scenario, the disciples see Him AFTER something has been accomplished, i.e., rising from the dead.  There’s a big difference between seeing someone in the act of doing something versus seeing them afterwards.  I’m not sure if Chuck doesn’t understand this principle or if he is deliberately manipulating the context in order to suit his doctrinal view.  Either way, with Chuck’s scenario, Yeshua’s narrative is altered.  This is such an important matter that I’m going to present Chuck’s approach from a different angle: 

      According to Yeshua, the disciples would see Him in the process of ascending. He said, “What and if you shall seed the Son of man ASCEND UP ….?”  What Chuck says Yeshua meant has nothing to do with seeing him in the act of ascending because NO ONE saw Yeshua ascending from the grave!  So Chuck strikes out right away, but he’s not finished.  He then has Yeshua expecting His disciples to think He meant ascending from the grave.  But the Greek word for “ascend” is the word anabaino and this word is never used in the context of rising from the dead and emerging from the grave.  When Lazarus came forth from the grave, the Greek word used for his departure is exerchomai, word #1831 in Strong’s.  This same Greek word is used to describe Yeshua’s departure from the grave.  The Bible never describes an “ascension from the grave.”  It’s a departure, and a completely different Greek word than what Yeshua used to describe His ascension.  But that’s not all.  Chuck inserts the word “from” into the text.  Again, Chuck writes, “Yeshua simply asked His disciples if they would be offended if He came up from the grave and they saw Him alive as He was before.”[3]  This is a complete spin of what the text actually says.  Here’s a screen capture taken from the pertinent page of Chuck’s book:

      In reading Chuck’s quote, please note that the word “from” in Greek is the word pronounced “ek” and this Greek word does not appear in John 6:62.  Notice that Chuck is careful to not add the word “from” to the actual text, but he freely uses it in his interpretation of the verse.  I’m sure Chuck feels his approach helps to clarify the author's intent.  I call it “adding to the Word interpretationally,” but it’s probably more accurate to just call it what it is – twisting Scripture Chuck’s radical approach reminds me of the child who was told her grandmother quit smoking “cold turkey.”  Not being aware of the significance of this idiomatic expression, she came away with the impression that her grandmother quit smoking by eating cold turkey. Soon afterwards, when she heard of a friend’s relative who was trying to quit smoking, she suggested that he try eating cold turkey.  She thought she understood the potential solution to the smoking problem, but she innocently got it wrong, much to her embarrassment.  Eating cold turkey will not help anyone kick the smoking habit.  I’m hoping Chuck’s “potential solution” is as innocent as the child’s, but we need to be ultra careful when the “potential solution” involves an interpretation of the Bible, and especially when rejecting the interpretation results in a charge of “potential idolatry.” 

      In the above example, the child didn’t hear anyone say the words “by eating” within the phrase “stop smoking cold turkey.”  No one said, “He quit smoking by eating cold turkey,” but that’s what her brain told her the speaker must have meant.  She was mistaken.  In the same way, Yeshua didn’t ask His disciples what they would think if they saw Him after He rose from the grave, yet that’s what Chuck’s brain tells him Yeshua must have meant.  I’m afraid Chuck is just as mistaken with his attempt to “fill in the blanks” as was the child who thought “quitting cold turkey” requires eating cold turkey.  Chuck can either be embarrassed about his misperception now or later. 

      Moreover, please consider the complete overhaul of context perpetrated by Chuck.  In context, Yeshua had just stated that He descended from heaven, which created quite a stir among His fellow Jews.  Even His disciples were perplexed when He proceeded to speak of “eating His body,” so if that’s all it took to offend them, He asked what they would think if they saw Him ASCEND to where He was before.  In context, where He was saying He was before is HEAVEN, and if He ASCENDS to where He was before, that means He would be ascending to heaven. 

      We know from Acts chapter 1 that the disciples did indeed physically see Him ascending to heaven.  It all fits!  But out of context, Chuck has Yeshua telling the Jews that all good things come from above, and oh, by the way, what will you think if you see me AFTER I’ve ascended from the grave?  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this commentary from Chuck on page 403 of his book, but it sounded all the more bizarre hearing it in person when we had our preliminary debate back in March.  This is truly what Chuck believes. 

      Below is a PowerPoint slide that I prepared in hopes that I could include it with my debate presentation.  As with all slides in this “Where He Was Before” section, it wasn’t used.  It shows how Chuck confuses the word “raise” with “ascend,” then attempts to transfer the application of “raise” to John 6:62:

      As displayed above, the Greek word translated “ascend” in our Bibles is the word pronounced anabaino.  It’s word #305 in Strong’s Greek Dictionary and is only used in the sense of ascending, not “rising from the grave.”[4] 

      Please notice that Chuck doesn’t share the Greek word from which “raise” is translated in his chart.  All four Greek words translated “raise” are translated from the Greek word anistemi, which literally means “arise” or “raise,” not “ascend.” 

     Displayed below is another excerpt from page 403 of Chuck Henry’s book.  In the first paragraph, Chuck bemoans the fact that the translators didn’t translate anabaino as “come up” in John 6:62.  If they had done so, here’s how that verse would read: 

62 What and if ye shall see the Son of Man come up where he was before? 

      Frankly, even with such a phrasing as the above, I would still understand the “where He was before” reference to be heaven, not earth.  But if the intended meaning was that of His rising from the grave, this begs the question of why the disciples didn’t “see” it?  After all, isn’t that what Yeshua foretold would happen?  Not only does Chuck put a spin on Yeshua’s words, but he also alters the prophecy, another “no-no.”  So the disciples didn’t “see” Yeshua rising from the grave, but they did see Him “come up” to heaven, which is where Yeshua had already told them “He was before.”  Displayed below is the excerpt from Chuck’s book, again somewhat tainted by my bewildered reactions:

      I once again call your attention to the fact that Chuck very subtly shifts the disciples’ astonishment from seeing Yeshua “come up” to where He was before to hearing about it in a report of the resurrection.  This, along with Chuck’s adding the word “from” to help guide us into thinking Yeshua was referring to “coming up from the grave,” vividly illustrates Chuck’s prowess for “shifting and adding.” 

 

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible’s “Anabaino” Error

 

      During the private debate I had with Chuck in March 2019, there was some discussion about anabaino being used to refer to “rising from the dead” in Mark 9:10.  Although the debate was recorded, I am unable to locate Chuck’s precise comments, which at the time seemed to justify believing that anabaino can be used to refer to either “rising from the dead” or “rising from the grave.”  Chuck cited this “fact” while pointing to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, which lists Greek word #305 as the word from which “rising” is translated in Mark 9:10. It turns out this is one of the rare instances in which Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible made a mistake.  Let’s take a look at the verse in question so as to get a clear picture of the error perpetrated by James Strong when he compiled his famous concordance.  Displayed below is Mark 9:9-10:

9 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning with one another what the rising from the dead should mean. 

      Both highlighted words above are translated from the Greek word anistemi, which literally means “arise” or “raise.”  This word is word #450 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and Strong’s correctly identifies the word “risen” in verse 9 as being anistemi.  However, when you look up the word “rising” in Strong’s, it is listed as being word #305 (anabaino), which as we know by now, means “ascend.”  This error gave Chuck the “window of opportunity” that he needed to present an “irrefutable” argument.  At the time, I had no answer because surely the concordance couldn’t be wrong!  Yet it is wrong.  I put together the following slides as part of an unused PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate Strong’s error.  Here’s my introductory slide:

  

         My second slide (see the next page) shows that Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible lists the word “rising” as found in Mark 9:10 to be translated from Greek word #305.  We have already explained that Greek word #305 is the word anabaino, which is generally translated “go up” or “ascend.”  However, when you look up the actual Greek text in such references as The Interlinear Bible, the translator corrects Strong’s error and correctly identifies this word as being translated, not from the Greek word anabaino, but from anistemi, which is word #450 in Strong’s.  Thus, James Strong incorrectly lists the word “rising” as found in Mark 9:10 as being translated from the Greek word anabaino.  Chuck used this error to his advantage during our private debate and I feel this is a great opportunity to squelch this blunder.  As the saying goes, “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” and two errors certainly do not produce truth.

  Again, as displayed above, Strong’s Concordance presents the English word “rising” as having been translated from Greek word #305 (anabaino), whereas the actual Greek word is #450 (anistemi). 

  As I conclude this section, please notice that Chuck needed an error in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible to help bolster his argument about the correct application of the word translated “ascend” in our Bibles.  Moreover, he makes an intense effort to associate “rising from the grave” with “ascending to where He was before.”  The similarity in meaning of the two words does not merit attributing to them the same meaning, which is what Chuck attempts to do.  Finally, Chuck literally needs Yeshua to say “come up FROM …,” but since the word “from” is nowhere to be found in John 6:62, he is compelled to add it by interpretation, while expecting unquestioning readers to accept his interpretation.  I view the fact that people actually accept Chuck’s interpretation to be a frightening reminder of the combined power of brainwashing and wanting to believe something so strongly that you just can’t or won’t see any other possibilities.  Indeed, Chuck does not so much as acknowledge that our literal understanding of the text (and context of the passage) merits any consideration.

  

Some additional slides from the (intended) presentation:

 

      Once again, I understand that incorporating all the slides from my PowerPoint presentation within my commentary would likely prove too much of a distraction for some folks, plus I do not mean to have my slides competing with the text.  To that end, I’m furnishing some slides from the intended presentation, not only as visual aids, but for emphasis purposes: 

1.  Even when reading a literal English translation of the Greek text, it is “reaching” to believe Yeshua was trying to find out what His disciples would think if they were to see Him AFTER He had risen from the grave.  What follows is (a) a copy of the Greek text of John 6:62 as taken from The Interlinear Bible, J. P. Green, Sr., General Editor and Translator and (b) a photocopy of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible’s partial listing of Greek words translated “ascend.”  They’re all word #305, which is the Greek word anabaino:

2.  This is another partial listing of words translated “ascend” as found on page 80 of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.  Please take note that anabaino can be translated “arise,” but the only place where it is so translated is Luke 24:38, where Yeshua asked His disciples, “Why are ye troubled?  and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?’”  This “arise” has nothing to do with rising from the grave or even rising from bed.  That’s another Greek word.

        I can imagine that a Biblical Unitarian, upon examining the above list of possible translations of anabaino, might point to the word “rise” and proclaim, “See?  Anabaino can mean ‘rise’!” 

        I would reply, “True, but the only place where it’s translated that way is Revelation 13:1, where a beast rises up out of (from, Greek ek) the sea.”  The word “from” is critical because, as you may recall, that’s the word Chuck really needs when Yeshua asked His disciples what they would think if they saw Him “ascend to where He was before.”  Chuck says what He meant was, “Would ye be offended if you see me AFTER I have ascended FROM the grave?”  The critical word “from,” which is a translation of the Greek word ek, is not found in John 6:62.  It is, however, in Revelation 13:1.  This is a significant difference, proving that Yeshua was most definitely not querying His disciples if they would be offended if they saw Him after He had risen from the grave.

3.  This is a PowerPoint slide I put together to reinforce the proper context of “Where He was before.”  You may recall that when Yeshua said He’s the living bread that came down from heaven, Chuck says what He meant is, “all good things come from above.”  And now, when Yeshua asks His disciples what they would think if they SEE Him ascend up where He was before, Chuck says what He meant is, “What would you think if the Son of man comes up from the grave and you see Him alive as He was before?”  To say I am stunned by such an interpretation is a gross understatement.

4.  I put together the following slide to reinforce in elementary school fashion the context that Yeshua’s “came down from heaven” statement means He came down from heaven and “ascend up to where He was before” refers back to where He was before, i.e., heaven:

5.  This slide is an illustrative response to the following comment in Chuck Henry’s book:  “Yeshua simply asked His disciples if they would be offended if He came up from the grave and they saw Him alive as He was before.”  I primarily emphasize Chuck’s adding the word “from” to Yeshua’s remark by interpretation, but I should also point out that Yeshua never mentions anything to His disciples in that verse about “seeing Him alive as He was before.”  The very context of Yeshua’s remark is shifted from seeing Him ascend to seeing Him alive after the “ascension from the grave.”  I find the combination of Chuck’s “adding & shifting” to be disturbing:

 

6.  You can read the first edition of Chuck’s book from “cover to cover” and you won’t find him using the phrase “ascend from the grave.”  I sense it’s because he knows how unusual and even odd such a word construction is.  Phrasing it “come up from the grave” suits the word sense much better, even though the Greek word in question, anabaino, is never used in the sense of “coming up from the grave.”  Although Chuck doesn’t use the phrase “ascend from the grave” in his book, he did use it during the private debate held in our home in March 2019.  Our debate presentations were included with the video as per my special request, which was honored on that particular occasion, and here’s a screen capture from Chuck’s presentation on anabaino:

       For reinforcement purposes, I ask you to please notice that Chuck has the disciples seeing Yeshua after the “ascension,” whereas Yeshua’s question was what they would think if they physically saw Him ascend to where He was before, i.e., during the ascension.  I would come (slightly) closer to accepting Chuck’s interpretation if there were a record of the disciples witnessing Yeshua as He rose from the dead.  Since they did not, I can only regard Chuck’s interpretation as a classic example of “wresting the Word.”  There’s a big difference between seeing Yeshua ascend versus seeing Him after He ascended. 

7.  When it comes to the Greek word anabaino being a reference to Yeshua’s ascension to heaven, a point that Chuck repeatedly makes is that it can only be understood that way when there’s a “clear context” of it being an ascension to heaven.  I think the context is quite clear already – Yeshua told the Jews He came down from heaven, then He asks His disciples what they would think if they saw Him ascending to where He was before.  I don’t think it should be take a rocket scientist or a master of Greek linguistics to figure out where He was ascending to.  Sounds clear to me, but of course if you’re a Biblical Unitarian, such a “clear context” doesn’t fit your religious paradigm, so in your mind there must be an alternate explanation.  Chuck thinks translating anabaino as “come up” fits the context much better.  He’s entitled to his opinion, of course, but I’m likewise entitled to disagree.  A major issue I have with Chuck’s “context” is the fact that to make it work, he needs to add the word “from.”  He knows he would be called out by even a novice Bible student for adding such a word to the Bible, so he thinks he can get away with adding “from” by interpretation.  I’m pretty sure this is what Peter meant by “wresting” words in 2 Peter 3:16.  The following slide builds on my already-established premise that what Chuck does to the text – and context – is wrong:

        Of course, adding the word “from” to the interpretation is only one of the major issues I have with what Chuck does to the context.  Another is his promoting the view that Yeshua didn’t really expect His disciples to physically see Him during His ascension; no, according to Chuck, the “seeing” took place afterwards This goes beyond being an innocent misunderstanding of Yeshua’s words; it can only be viewed as deliberate manipulation.

8.  The following slide is another visual aid designed to further drive home my point that Chuck is guilty of subverting Yeshua’s words.  Some may argue that this topic is now heading into “overkill,” and I get their point; at the same time, there may be one person out there who needs to see things from a slightly different angle before things start to “click.”  If you’re that person, then the following slides are for you:

9.  This was another PowerPoint slide I created to further reinforce the dangers of “changing up” what people say.  Many have shared my own experiences of how sometimes our words are either misconstrued or distorted.  Sometimes it is done in all innocence of heart, in which case we overlook the mistake and move on.  Sometimes, however, it is done with ulterior motives.  At first, assumed that Chuck’s misconstruing Yeshua’s words and the context of “where He was before” was done in innocence.  However, when he adamantly defended his understanding over and above mine to the point that he’s fine with his “added” words for “clarification,” I realized this is more than a case of misconstruing words.

      As I mentioned previously, there’s a big difference between seeing Yeshua ascend versus seeing Him after He ascended.  A little subversion truly makes a big difference. Hellenistic

10.  The following slide asks a major question that I don’t think Chuck can answer:  “If ‘come up’ fits the context better than ‘ascend’ (as stated by Chuck), then why does Chuck need to add the word ‘from’ in his attempt to clarify the context?”  Here, once more, are Chuck’s exact words as found on page 403 of his book: 

“Yeshua simply asked His disciples if they would be offended if He came up from the grave and they saw Him alive as He was before.”

11.  Let me be clear:  I completely reject Chuck’s teaching that the context of John 6:62 has to do with Yeshua “ascending from the grave.”  Chuck’s scenario is “OUT OF CONTEXT” and I further reinforce this understanding with my next PowerPoint slide:

12.  Some may say that my continuing to harp on Chuck’s subversion of John 6:62 is madness.  If so, let me answer that there’s a “method to the madness.”  How many ways can I tell Chuck that what he does to this and other texts is wrongful subversion In this situation, I simply ask, “Where does Chuck’s added word ‘from’ come from???”  Is it supposed to help make his ill-advised “better context” work?

      For those of you who may still be “on the fence” about this issue, try looking at it this way:  If we remove Chuck’s added word “from,” what do we have?

With the added word “from”:  “Yeshua simply asked His disciples if they would be offended if He came up from the grave and they saw Him alive as He was before.” 

Without the added word “from”: “Yeshua simply asked His disciples if they would be offended if He came up the grave and they saw Him alive as He was before.” 

13.  I’m slipping this PowerPoint slide into this study because I think my point is valid and worthy of consideration:  “Indeed, if Yeshua was trying to find out what His disciples would think if He came up FROM the grave, He would have used the word ‘FROM” – but He did not!”  He likewise didn’t use the word “grave,” the topic is more about living than dying, especially since He says, “I am the LIVING BREAD which came down from heaven” in John 6:51.  Yes, Yeshua told them, “He that eateth Me, even he shall LIVE by Me,” but the overall context is that all who truly hunger and thirst after righteousness can come to Him and He will give them everlasting LIFE.  This chapter is about LIFE, not about “coming up from the grave”:

14.  As if adding the word “from” to the interpretational meaning of John 6:62 isn’t odd enough, consider the fact that in those verses wherein Yeshua is actually described as rising from the dead, the Greek word ek, which means “from,” is there That’s the primary driving force behind the following PowerPoint slide:

15.  The Greek word anabaino, which Chuck wants and needs to mean “rise from the grave,” is never used in that context in the Bible.  Instead, we see forms of the Greek word anistemi being used for “rise from the dead” in such verses as John 20:9.  In terms of “coming forth” from the grave or tomb, we see the Greek word exerchomai.  If this word comes close to sounding like our English word exit, it’s more than a coincidence.  Exerchomai means such things as “depart,” “come out of,” “get out,” “proceed forth,” etc.  The point I bring out in the following PowerPoint slide is the fact that anabaino is simply not a Greek word used to express either “rising from the dead” or “rising from the grave”:

16.  So when the Bible speaks of Yeshua “ascending to His Father,” which Greek word is used?  It’s a form of the word anabaino.  And when did Yeshua “ascend”?  Was it at His resurrection from the dead?  Or was it when He “ascended to the Father” – well after His resurrection?  That’s the point of the following PowerPoint slide:

17.  For those of you who want a quick summary of the problems I have with Chuck’s treatment of John 6:62, the following slide pretty much sums it up.  I tweaked this slide before incorporating it into this study.  First, it’s “Part X” in this study, whereas it was “Part V” in my originally-planned debate presentation.  Second, in view of Chuck Henry’s “Philo commentary” in which he concluded by asking, “Who shall we believe – Philo or the Bible?” I think this chapter is an appropriate place to turn that question back on Chuck:

18.  Finally, for those attempting to keep track of the words that Biblical Unitarians need to add in order to manipulate Bible texts to mean what they want them to mean, here’s a slide I saved from our March 2019 debate:

 

[1] I am again paraphrasing Chuck’s words here, but for emphasis purposes it must be noted that, indeed, Chuck can only mean that, in his scenario, the disciples could not have seen Yeshua in the act of rising from the grave, but only afterwards In contradistinction, Yeshua asked the disciples what they would think if they saw Him in the act of “going up” (ascending), not before and not after!

[2] Chuck Henry, Trinity, Oneness, Duality & Pre-Existence, H.V. Chapman & Sons Bookbinders, Abilene, TX, 2018, p. 402.

[3] Ibid, p. 403.

[4] We’ll see later that Chuck doesn’t catch a mistake made by Strong’s Concordance in which Strong’s mistakenly lists anabaino as the Greek word from which “arise” is translated.  When you look up the actual Greek text, anabaino isn’t there.  Nevertheless, Chuck points out that anabaino is, in that one verse, understood as meaning “rise,” as in “rise from the dead.”

 

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First Publication, June 28, 2020

Edited July 19, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the name of our Creator, Yahweh, sometimes called the Tetragrammaton.  It is given here in (A) the Phoenician script, (B) the Ivrit Kadum (Paleo-Hebrew) script, and (C) the Modern Hebrew script (a stylization of Aramaic).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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