Just a thought on Τετέλεσται

We are looking at John's gospel the control Jesus exercises over his own death.

Τετέλεσται - "It is finished" - imperfect and passive in the Greek.

Look at Jesus' authority here, he is not passive victim.

Jesus is active in offering himself.

Is it hard to look at John and argue subordinationism? I wonder what this does for our doctrinal stances on the trinity. How does it impact doctrine about the atonement? How can we argue subordinationism from this and have this impact our gender- thinking?


Lucy Mills said...

This is not entirely on the point (!) but I love how studying Greek can trigger all kinds of thoughts / things to ponder.

David Ould said...

I'm not at all sure how your argument about subordination follows from Jesus' use of τετέλεσται.
There's no direct indication in the verb of any subordination or lack of it, simply that a task that was outstanding has now been completed.

As for John more broadly, surely it is the strongest Gospel when it comes to arguing the subordination of Jesus! He consistently refers to Himself as "Son", always pointing out that He never acts independently of the Father, rather He always does the Father's will. So, for example,

John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

and so on.

I'd venture so far as to say that the most common way Jesus refers to Himself in John is "ον απεστειλεν" and similar (ie "the one that was sent". The very name and every way that He describes is screams subordination.

Rev R Marszalek said...

Not constructing an argument as such, just thinking out loud. We touched on ESS in class and my lecturer Ian Paul had us consider how in John 14 and 16, Jesus says that the Father will do what we ask in Jesus' name ie the will of the Father is subject to what we ask in line with Jesus' intention. In the other gospels in Gethsemane Jesus submits his will to the Father. But in John 10.14–19 it looks quite different--though Jesus 'receives the commandment from the Father', he is clear that he lays down his life and takes it up again on his own authority. We were asked to consider how John's account is distinctive depicting Jesus' trial and crucifixion, for Jesus remains entirely in control.

As I am sure you are aware, subordinationism is a huge area in evangelical debate with papers written by Bird and Shillaker in response to Kevin Giles etc I am looking into it when I have time, some of it is very nuanced and has a lot to do with George Knight III and his role and function and ontology thinking about the trinity in the 1970s. I have reading to do, David...!
God bless.


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