A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

What Does John 3:16 Actually Say?

This may be the best 10 minutes you will perhaps spend on one verse this week:

12 responses to “What Does John 3:16 Actually Say?

  1. Pingback: Whosoever will? | Defending. Contending.

  2. Dave Van August 27, 2011 at 14:03

    Excellent video. Thanks for posting. Very low key and to the point. I posted something similar on my blog back in ’09…not quite so low key…by Dr Robert Morey…”Does God Love Anyone? see here: http://areformedlaymansperspective.blogspot.com/2009/08/does-god-love-anyone.html

  3. Coram Deo August 27, 2011 at 17:09

    Thanks for posting this piece, Michael! I apologize for link trolling, but Dr. James White also produced a fine treatment of this verse which is posted at DefCon.

    Who are the “Whosoever” of John 3:16?

    In Christ,

    • Michael Acidri August 27, 2011 at 17:30

      Thanks Coram for the link.! Some of us (who used to be fed on movie sermon series and were content to run around for holy laughter) and now all of a sudden gracefully discover real theology and it is utterly engrossing. We want to know more about God and his word. Thanks for your link once again!

  4. Manfred August 28, 2011 at 00:21

    It was very good – and I passed it along to a large Yahoo Group, but it’s 13 minutes, not 10 🙂

  5. John September 3, 2011 at 12:06

    Wow. Such a condescending reading of the scripture at the beginning of this video. The sarcasm and scorn drips off every word. Here’s a word you may not be familiar with – LOVE

  6. Manfred September 3, 2011 at 13:20

    John – his tone of voice in the opening, wherein he read the verse, is pretty much the same as in the balance of the video. He does make dramatic emphasis about a minute in to demonstrate the commonly erroneous interpretation people love.

    Biblical love is biblical Truth. Not man-pleasing half-truth.

    Truth offends man – half-truth offends God.

  7. Jim September 4, 2011 at 23:33

    Great video, thanks for posting it. I loved his presentation and manner! However I think the passage, in its entire context, is more problematic for the Reformed postion than it is helpful. Simply saying it isn’t, doesn’t make the problem go away. κόσμον can never be said to mean ‘the world of the elect”. It never means that anywhere in the Bible or greek literature. I think that is the real issue.

    John could have very easily said that “God loved those whom he would save”, or “those who would believe in His son”. But he didn’t. It sure would end the arguement if it did!

  8. Manfred September 5, 2011 at 00:14

    Jim, To determine the Truth of for whom Christ died – indeed to know most any doctrine – one must look to see what the rest of Scripture says. While John 3:16 does not define this, Ephesians chapter 5 makes it clear. John 3:16 tells us how Christ loved the world but that one verse does not answer the question of for whom He died. The context of John 3:16 is very supportive of the Reformed position. For earlier in the chapter we see that one must be born of the Spirit of God to inherit the Kingdom of God. As one has no choice in his physical birth, so it is with his spiritual birth. John 3:8 tells us the Spirit goes where He desires and God alone decides who will be saved.

  9. Jim September 5, 2011 at 15:44


    I am not unmoved by that line of reasoning. I am only saying that John 3:16, as interpreted in the video, does not make a strong case for the Reformed view. Other scripture surely does, but not this. John could have said that “God loved every tribe, tongue and nation in such a way that he gave…” but he didn’t. He used the word Kosmon, clearly reffering to the world of humanity.

    To take the interpretation of the video, one might conclude that God only loves those who will believe, or whom he decides to save. The rest he does not love. Most in the reformed camp would reject that idea, but to me it is the next logical step in the argument.

    The verse does demonstrates that God loves humanity and proved it by sending his son to die on the cross for it. I don’t think the Arminian camp or the Reformed camp can use it to support their view, per se.

    I know I am nit-picking here. However, I think it wise to concede when one’s position is not as strong as we would like it to be. That is my view from the cheap seats.

  10. Julie October 18, 2011 at 02:33

    It seems that this would be more of support of Truth rather than support of a position.
    Truth is what matters not a position. Man creates positions, God creates Truth.
    This video was great.

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