AI & John 3:16

Over the past few weeks, I have been very impressed with the power and speed of BingChat to search, summarize, and logically present its results in seconds, information which has in the past taken me hours if not days of research. BingChat at the moment seems to not only use a great number of public resources but some sort of mathematical process to determine how many facts and order to present as an answer. I have placed the date of my AI question because new data available to CjatBot could change the answer!

Enjoy and may God bless you.

  1. Question to BingChat (7-20-23): What did Jesus teach about the concepts taught in John 3:16?

The concepts taught in John 3:16 are God’s love for the world, God’s gift of his Son, the necessity of faith in his Son, and the promise of eternal life. Jesus taught about these concepts in various ways throughout his ministry. Here are some examples of how he taught about them:

  • “God’s love for the world”: Jesus taught that God loves the world and wants to save it from sin and death. He also taught that God loves his enemies and shows mercy to them. He demonstrated God’s love by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, forgiving the sinners, and welcoming the outcasts. He also commanded his followers to love God and to love their neighbors as themselves. Some passages that show Jesus teaching about God’s love for the world are Matthew 5:43–48; 6:25–34; 9:35–38; 22:34–40; Luke 15:1–32; John 10:7–18; 15:9–17.
  • “God’s gift of his Son”: Jesus taught that he is the Son of God, sent by the Father to reveal his will and to accomplish his work. He also taught that he is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, who fulfills the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament. He also taught that he is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world by offering himself as a sacrifice. He also taught that he is the Bread of Life, the Living Water, the Light of the World, and the Resurrection and the Life, who gives life to those who believe in him. Some passages that show Jesus teaching about God’s gift of his Son are Matthew 16:13–20; 26:26–29; Mark 8:27–38; 10:45; Luke 4:16–21; 24:25–27; John 1:29–34; 3:14–15; 6:35–40; 8:12; 11:25–26.
  • “The necessity of faith in his Son”: Jesus taught that faith in him is the only way to be saved and to have eternal life. He also taught that faith in him is not just a mental assent or a verbal confession, but a personal trust and a radical commitment. He also taught that faith in him is not a static or a passive state, but a dynamic and an active process. He also taught that faith in him is not a solitary or a private matter, but a communal and a public witness. He also taught that faith in him is not a cheap or easy grace, but a costly and challenging discipleship. Some passages that show Jesus teaching about the necessity of faith in his Son are Matthew 7:21–27; 10:32–39; Mark 10:17–31; Luke 18:9–14; John 3:16–21; 14:6; 20:24–31.
  • “The promise of eternal life”: Jesus taught that eternal life is not just a future reality, but a present reality for those who believe in him. He also taught that eternal life is not just a quantity of life, but a quality of life. He also taught that eternal life is not just an individual gift, but a corporate blessing. He also taught that eternal life is not just a temporal reward, but an eternal inheritance. He also taught that eternal life is not just a natural continuation, but a supernatural transformation. Some passages that show Jesus teaching about the promise of eternal life are Matthew 19:16–30; Mark 12:18–27; Luke 10:25–37; John 5:24–29; 10:27–30; 17:1–5.

These are just some examples of how Jesus taught about the concepts in John 3:16. Of course, there are many more passages and teachings that could be added to this list. The main point is that John 3:16 summarizes and encapsulates what Jesus taught and did throughout his ministry. It is a verse that reveals his identity, his mission, his invitation, and his promise.

My thoughts: John 3:16 is considered by many theologians to be the Bible in a single verse!

  1. Question to BingChat (7-20-23): What are some Old Testament prophets’ statements about the concepts of John 3:16?

Some Old Testament prophets’ statements about the concepts of John 3:16 are:

  • “God’s love for the world”: The prophets spoke of God’s love for his people Israel, as well as for the nations. They also spoke of God’s love as faithful, compassionate, forgiving, and redeeming. Some passages that show the prophets’ statements about God’s love for the world are Isaiah 43:1–7; 49:13–16; Jeremiah 31:3–6; Hosea 11:1–4; Jonah 4:10–11; Micah 7:18–20; Malachi 1:2–5.
  • “God’s gift of his Son”: The prophets spoke of God’s promise to send a Messiah, a Son of David, who would be his Servant, his Anointed, his Branch, his Shepherd, and his King. They also spoke of the Messiah’s suffering, death, and resurrection as part of God’s plan to save his people and the world. Some passages that show the prophets’ statements about God’s gift of his Son are Isaiah 7:14; 9:6–7; 11:1–10; 42:1–9; 49:1–7; 52:13–53:12; Jeremiah 23:5–6; Ezekiel 34:23–24; Daniel 7:13–14; Micah 5:2–5; Zechariah 9:9–10; 12:10–13:1.
  • “The necessity of faith in his Son”: The prophets spoke of the need to trust in God and his promises, and to repent of sin and idolatry. They also spoke of the blessing of those who believe in God and his word, and the curse of those who reject him and his ways. Some passages that show the prophets’ statements about the necessity of faith in his Son are Habakkuk 2:4; Isaiah 28:16; Jeremiah 17:5–8; Ezekiel 18:30–32; Joel 2:28–32; Zechariah 13:8–9.
  • The promise of eternal life”: The prophets spoke of the hope of a new creation, a new covenant, a new Jerusalem, and a new age. They also spoke of the resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the wicked, and the reward of the righteous. Some passages that show the prophets’ statements about the promise of eternal life are Isaiah 25:6–9; 26:19; 65:17–25; Jeremiah 31:31–34; Ezekiel 37:1–14; Daniel 12:1–3; Hosea 13:14.

These are just some examples of how the Old Testament prophets’ statements relate to the concepts of John 3:16. Of course, there are many more passages and statements that could be added to this list. The main point is that John 3:16 is rooted in and fulfilled by the Old Testament Scriptures. It is a verse that reveals God’s plan and purpose for his creation from Genesis to Revelation.

My thoughts: The Old Testament promises the Redeemer (Christ) and the Testament provides Redemption!

  1. Question to BingChat (7-20-23): What are some New Testament apostles’ statements about the concepts of John 3:16?

Some New Testament apostles’ statements about the concepts of John 3:16 are:

  • “God’s love for the world”: The apostles spoke of God’s love for the world as demonstrated by his sending of his Son, his calling of his people, his forgiveness of their sins, and his giving of his Spirit. They also spoke of God’s love as the motivation and model for their love for God and for one another. Some passages that show the apostles’ statements about God’s love for the world are Romans 5:8; 8:31–39; 1 Corinthians 13:1–13; 2 Corinthians 5:14–15; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:4–10; 3:14–21; 5:1–2; Colossians 1:13–14; 1 Thessalonians 1:4–10; 2 Thessalonians 2:13–17; Titus 3:4–7; Hebrews 9:11–28; 1 Peter 1:3–9; 2 Peter 1:3–11; 1 John 3:16–18; 4:7–21.
  • “God’s gift of his Son”: The apostles spoke of God’s gift of his Son as the fulfillment of the Scriptures, the revelation of his glory, the manifestation of his grace, and the foundation of their faith. They also spoke of God’s gift of his Son as the basis and guarantee of their salvation, sanctification, and glorification. Some passages that show the apostles’ statements about God’s gift of his Son are Acts 2:22–36; 4:8–12; Romans 3:21–26; 6:23; 8:32; Galatians 4:4–7; Ephesians 1:3–14; Philippians 2:5–11; Colossians 1:15–23; Hebrews 1:1–4; James 1:17–18; 1 Peter 1:18–21; 2 Peter 3:18; Jude 20–25.
  • “The necessity of faith in his Son”: The apostles spoke of the need to believe in God’s Son as the only way to be justified, reconciled, and adopted by God. They also spoke of the nature and evidence of faith in God’s Son as a living, active, and obedient trust in him. They also spoke of the benefits and challenges of faith in God’s Son as a source of peace, joy, hope, and love, as well as a target of persecution, temptation, and doubt. Some passages that show the apostles’ statements about the necessity of faith in his Son are Acts 10:34–43; Romans 1:16–17; Galatians 2:15–21; Ephesians 2:8–9; Philippians 3:7–11; Colossians 2:6–7; Hebrews 11:1–40; James 2:14–26; 1 Peter 1:6–9.
  • “The promise of eternal life”: The apostles spoke of the hope of eternal life as a gift from God, a promise from Christ, and a seal from the Spirit. They also spoke of the characteristics and implications of eternal life as a quality and quantity of life that involves knowing God and Christ, being conformed to their image, sharing in their inheritance, and reigning with them in glory. They also spoke of the contrast and connection between eternal life and eternal death as two possible destinies that depend on one’s relationship with God and Christ. Some passages that show the apostles’ statements about the promise of eternal life are Romans 6:22–23; Galatians 6:7–10; Ephesians 1:13–14; Philippians 3:20–21; Colossians 3:1–4; Titus 1:1–3; Hebrews 6:17–20; James 5:19–20; Jude.
  1. Question to BingChat (7-20-23): How might the interpretation difference between using the three hermeneutics of four-sense, historical-critical, and historical, grammatical?
  • The four-sense, historical-critical, and historical-grammatical hermeneutics are three different methods of interpreting Scripture that have different origins, assumptions, and goals.
  • The four-sense hermeneutic is a method that was developed by the church fathers and medieval theologians. It distinguishes between four levels of meaning in a text: the literal, the allegorical, the moral, and the anagogical.
  • The historical-critical hermeneutic is a method that was developed by modern scholars and academics. It applies various tools and disciplines, such as textual criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, and literary criticism, to analyze the historical, literary, and cultural context of a text.
  • The historical-grammatical hermeneutic is a method that was developed by conservative scholars and theologians. It focuses on the plain and obvious meaning of the words and grammar of a text in its historical and literary context.

A four-sense, historical-critical, and historical-grammatical interpreter may have different interpretations of John 3:16 based on their hermeneutical approach and emphasis. Here is a possible example of how they may differ:

  • “Four-sense interpreter”: A four-sense interpreter may emphasize the multiple levels of meaning in John 3:16, as shown in the previous answer. They may seek to discover the hidden or symbolic meaning of the text that reveals a deeper truth or doctrine (allegorical sense), the practical or ethical meaning of the text that instructs us how to live and act (moral sense), and the eschatological or heavenly meaning of the text that points us to our ultimate destiny and hope (anagogical sense), in addition to the plain and obvious meaning of the words and grammar of the text (literal sense). They may also seek to relate the text to other parts of Scripture, to church tradition, and to Christian doctrine.
    -“ Historical-critical interpreter”: A historical-critical interpreter may emphasize the historical, literary, and cultural context of John 3:16. They may seek to determine the original text of the verse by comparing different manuscripts (textual criticism), the sources and traditions behind the verse by analyzing its vocabulary and style (source criticism), the genre and function of the verse by examining its form and structure (form criticism), the editorial activity and theology of the verse by comparing it with other parts of John’s Gospel (redaction criticism), and the literary features and devices of the verse by exploring its imagery, symbolism, irony, etc. (literary criticism). They may also seek to relate the text to its historical setting, its intended audience, and its social and religious implications.
  • Historical-grammatical interpreter”: A historical-grammatical interpreter may emphasize the plain and obvious meaning of John 3:16. They may seek to understand what the text says and means by studying its words and grammar in their normal and natural sense. They may also seek to understand what the author intended to communicate and what the original audience understood by considering their historical and literary context. They may also seek to apply the text to their own situation by deriving principles and lessons from it.

These are just some examples of how a four-sense, historical-critical, and historical-grammatical interpreter may interpret John 3:16 differently. Of course, there are also strengths and weaknesses in each method, as well as possibilities for integration and dialogue among them. Therefore, it is important to evaluate each method carefully and critically in light of Scripture and sound reason.

My thoughts: I prefer the four-sense method because it appears the New Testament writers used a method similar and the early church adapted and used it for over a 1000 years.

  1. Question to BingChat (7-20-23): What is the context and literal interpretation of John 3:16?

The context and literal interpretation of John 3:16 are:

  • “Context”: John 3:16 is part of a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus at night to learn from him. Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again, or born from above, by water and the Spirit, in order to see and enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus did not understand how this could happen, and Jesus rebuked him for his lack of spiritual insight. Jesus then explained that he is the Son of Man who came down from heaven and who must be lifted up on the cross, like the bronze serpent in the wilderness, so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:16 is the summary and climax of this explanation, revealing God’s love, gift, invitation, and promise to the world through his Son.
  • “Literal interpretation”: The literal interpretation of John 3:16 is the plain and obvious meaning of the words and grammar of the text. It means that God, out of his great love for humanity, sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, so that anyone who trusts in him will be saved from eternal death and receive eternal life. This verse summarizes the gospel message and expresses God’s grace and mercy to us.

6. Question to BingChat (7-20-23): What would be the difference between the interpretation of a Calvinist and an Armenian?

A Calvinist and an Arminian may have different interpretations of John 3:16 based on their theological presuppositions and emphases. Calvinism and Arminianism are two theological systems that differ in how they understand the doctrines of grace, especially the sovereignty of God and the free will of man in salvation. Calvinism is based on the teachings of John Calvin (1509–1564), while Arminianism is based on the teachings of Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) and his followers. Calvinism is summarized by the acronym TULIP, which stands for Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints. Arminianism is summarized by the acronym FACTS, which stands for Freed by grace to believe, Atonement for all, Conditional election, Total dependence, and Security in Christ.

Here is a possible example of how a Calvinist and an Arminian may interpret John 3:16 differently:

  • “Total depravity vs. Freed by grace to believe”: A Calvinist may emphasize that the world is totally depraved, meaning that every human being is born with a sinful nature and is unable to respond to God’s love or believe in his Son without his regenerating grace. An Arminian may emphasize that the world is freed by grace to believe, meaning that God’s prevenient grace enables every human being to overcome their sinful nature and to respond to God’s love or believe in his Son by their free will.
  • “Unconditional election vs. Conditional election”: A Calvinist may emphasize that God’s love for the world is unconditional, meaning that he chooses to save some people out of his sovereign will and good pleasure, not based on anything in them or foreseen by him. An Arminian may emphasize that God’s love for the world is conditional, meaning that he chooses to save those who believe in his Son out of his foreknowledge and justice, based on their faith and obedience.
  • “Limited atonement vs. Atonement for all”: A Calvinist may emphasize that God gave his Son for the world in a limited sense, meaning that he died only for the elect, those whom God has chosen to save, and secured their salvation by his death. An Arminian may emphasize that God gave his Son for the world in a universal sense, meaning that he died for all people, those whom God has chosen to save and those who reject him, and made salvation possible for all by his death.
  • “Irresistible grace vs. Total dependence”: A Calvinist may emphasize that whoever believes in God’s Son does so because of his irresistible grace, meaning that God effectually draws and enables them to believe by his Holy Spirit, and they cannot resist or reject his call. An Arminian may emphasize that whoever believes in God’s Son does so because of their total dependence, meaning that they rely entirely on God’s grace and mercy to believe by his Holy Spirit, but they can resist or reject his call.
  • “Perseverance of the saints vs. Security in Christ”: A Calvinist may emphasize that whoever believes in God’s Son shall not perish but have eternal life because of the perseverance of the saints, meaning that God preserves them in faith and holiness until the end, and they cannot lose their salvation. An Arminian may emphasize that whoever believes in God’s Son shall not perish but have eternal life because of their security in Christ, meaning that they are kept by God’s power and faithfulness as long as they abide in Christ, but they can lose their salvation if they fall away from him.

These are just some examples of how a Calvinist and an Arminian may interpret John 3:16 differently. Of course, there are also variations within each system, as well as similarities and overlaps among them. Therefore, it is important to study each system carefully and critically in light of Scripture and sound reason.

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