John the Baptist and Jesus.

#1
My reading of books which research or comment on the Scriptures causes me to ponder and occasionally change my mind about the details which have perhaps been overlooked in my earlier years.
I have recently read a very well-researched issue which is so designed to belittle the Gospels that according to the work it must have taken to compile, deserves a full five stars, but the lessons it teaches wouldn't get me to award it one star.
However, the detailed suggestion of the spiritual relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus, there, seems to be so far-fetched that it has had me looking at those particular New Testament references, and I have been puzzling in particular over the original meanings of Matthew 11:11, and Luke 7:28.
I would like to understand what the greater in "greater than any man who has ever lived" really means, and who is likely to be "least in the Kingdom of Heaven; greater than John"?
Greater and least in what ways ?
 
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#2
I would like to understand what the greater in "greater than any man who has ever lived" really means, and who is likely to be "least in the Kingdom of Heaven; greater than John"?
Greater and least in what ways ?
Just a pitching a thought, a different perspective from a younger student with much to learn, who likes mathematics but not the calculus type, just enjoying long formulas reduced to shorter formula (and hopefully not more complicated :)

Say, the following person:
  • A = any man who has ever lived
  • B = Prophets
  • C = John the Baptist
  • D = “he that is least in the kingdom of heaven”

“Greater than any man who has ever lived”
  • Yes, it can be interpreted it at that way that it seems to say it is C (John) > (greater) A (any man)
  • But as I understand it: it seems to say C (John) > (greater) B (Prophets)
  • My basis is:
    • Luke is clear to say C (John) > B (Prophets)
    • While Matthew can be said C (John) > A (any man), although a verse before that (in green font = messenger, seems to confirm that Matthew is the same with Luke comparing C (John) > B (messenger or Prophets)

    • the verses mentioned:

  • MT 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
  • MT 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

  • LK 7:27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
  • LK 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
 
Amens/Likes: bobinfaith
#3
Greater and least in what ways ?
  • "Greater and least" denotes usage of judgement or criteria to measure (IMO)

C (John) being measured with B (messenger or Prophets):
  • I think this will be less difficult, us, being human beings has set of measurement to compare what makes a greater prophet?

But comparing C (John) with D = “he that is least in the kingdom of heaven”,
  • that will be quite difficult, as it seems, at least to me, I can only surmise with verses if needed (and I can be wrong)
  • it is related to God’ will who is “least in the kingdom of heaven
  • and I think it will be more on God’s will on Obedience as to “Letters of the Law” vs “Spirit of the Letters of the Law”
 
#4
My reading of books which research or comment on the Scriptures causes me to ponder and occasionally change my mind about the details which have perhaps been overlooked in my earlier years.
I have recently read a very well-researched issue which is so designed to belittle the Gospels that according to the work it must have taken to compile, deserves a full five stars, but the lessons it teaches wouldn't get me to award it one star.
However, the detailed suggestion of the spiritual relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus, there, seems to be so far-fetched that it has had me looking at those particular New Testament references, and I have been puzzling in particular over the original meanings of Matthew 11:11, and Luke 7:28.
I would like to understand what the greater in "greater than any man who has ever lived" really means, and who is likely to be "least in the Kingdom of Heaven; greater than John"?
Greater and least in what ways ?
The thought that came to mine is that John was the last Prophet of the old covenant, and the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is the one that is part the Bride, the new covenant, which is why that person is greater than John because John is the best man, not part of the Bride who is like Christ, John 3:29.
 
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bobinfaith

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#5
My reading of books which research or comment on the Scriptures causes me to ponder and occasionally change my mind about the details which have perhaps been overlooked in my earlier years.
Just a pitching a thought, a different perspective from a younger student with much to learn, who likes mathematics but not the calculus type, just enjoying long formulas reduced to shorter formula (and hopefully not more complicated:)
The thought that came to mine is that John was the last Prophet of the old covenant, and the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is the one that is part the Bride, the new covenant, which is why that person is greater than John because John is the best man, not part of the Bride who is like Christ, John 3:29.
Hello brothers;

I have a question for each of you so that I may also learn, though this may be off topic but within the confines of the subject.

Smiler, When you mention your reading and research of books and how the details may have been overlooked or changed through the years, it reminded me of word meanings in the Bible and how they change over time. The KJV is a good example. English words no longer mean what they did in 1611, but, the scriptures are not altered and still remain the scriptures. Is the detail you are sharing and changing of your mind, the interpretation?

Aha, I noticed you use formulas in your study and this is challenging to me. Do the formulas help you explain/teach your interpretation of the Bible? Do you teach Bible study, or is this for your own learning? I have always been a poor reader and have to re-read and re-read when it takes the average reader a shorter time to comprehend but I do arrive at understanding. I can only imagine using formulas but does this help improve understanding of the scriptures or any subject?

Abdicate, what I asked Smiler, word meanings in the Bible do change over time. The KJV is a good example. In passages in the NT like 2 Cor 1:12, Gal 1:13 and Eph 2:3, the word conversation have been replaced in the newer translations with "conduct" or "way of life". English words no longer mean what they did in 1611 but the scripture still remains the scripture. My question is does this also impact the Greek and Hebrew?

Thank you, brothers, and may the Lord bless you and your families.
 
#7
My question is does this also impact the Greek and Hebrew?
Indeed it does, with Modern Greek vs. Koine Greek, Biblical Hebrew vs. Modern Hebrew, but that doesn't make them irrelevant. In fact, there's more accuracy in the originals than today's modern languages. All translations have a bias which cannot be avoided.
 
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#8
Hello brothers;

Aha, I noticed you use formulas in your study and this is challenging to me. Do the formulas help you explain/teach your interpretation of the Bible? Do you teach Bible study, or is this for your own learning? I have always been a poor reader and have to re-read and re-read when it takes the average reader a shorter time to comprehend but I do arrive at understanding. I can only imagine using formulas but does this help improve understanding of the scriptures or any subject?
Do the formulas help you explain/teach your interpretation of the Bible?

Yes, i think because my background, secular background is am into “Operations”

We use problem solving tools that breaks down “problem statement”..
  • One popular is the “fishbone diagram” where the problem is the head of the fish, while the bones are broken down into “Man”, “Materials”, “Method”, “Machine” etc.
  • It helps to break down the problem into each category
  • This is because people can keep on focusing on say the “Man” is in error doing his job when the root cause of the problem is actually the “Machine” he used to do the job.
  • thus, it helps to classify each thought


Do you teach Bible study, or is this for your own learning?

This for my own learning.

I do not teach Bible study, just a student in Bible study: and I have not dreamed of becoming one precisely my disclaimer in my signature below. My reason:

1, Teachers will be held more accountable.
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness

2. I may interpret the Bible wrongly (in a way: “adding things”, thus, found myself a liar, thus my disclaimer to anyone reading my post:
PROV 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
PROV 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.


I can only imagine using formulas but does this help improve understanding of the scriptures or any subject?

I found it useful, at least personally, for me….
I think because English is not my mother-lounge, it is a second language for me.

Thus, when a thought or an idea that it takes a paragraph or two to explain… and someone will "coin a phrase" to capture precisely that thought…
I enjoy to collect those coins :)

Example:
  • the Greatest Commandment: Love God, Love your neighbor.
  • I first heard/read somewhere from a pastor (I forgot the name, in Wikipedia) who mentioned: “Love God” is a “vertical relationship” while “Love your neighbor” is a “horizontal relationship
  • I can relate easily to the phrase,
  • Although of course, if it will be expounded, we can learn from it, but at least: with those phrases: it captured a similar picture in my mind that I can relate to
 
#9
Well !! Thank you, friends, for sharing your thoughts on this thread. There are several ways of looking at this, depending on our individual ideas of greatness on earth compared with similar in Heaven, and whether three languages over two thousand years have complicated things.
For my part, I think the first clause would be an authentic observation by Jesus, the gift of prophecy being considered, but to some it could be interpreted as invalidating Jesus' position as Son of God.
I am prepared to agree that there are different ways of looking at the second comparison. It is likely to have been a later addition, explaining the early Church's aspect, the early authors of Q trying to maintain their religious stance.

It has been suggested that Jesus was a follower of The Baptist for some considerable time during "the hidden years", and that at some juncture He separated from John and chose His own disciples, moving off on a different geographical track. Perhaps John would do all the baptising during their time together, and this would cause the discussion when he came to baptise Jesus.
Later, the two would mentally compare their positions (not being judgemental), and later the imprisoned John would receive Jesus' reply as to whether He was the Messiah in words which didn't claim more than was necessary for His former master. Jesus could have stayed in John's shadow until later in his ministry, but was able to continue to carry out the Divine Plan after John was killed.

But, "the least in Heaven" ?
There were two of Jesus' disciples who at one time, before they chickened out, imagined that there would be places for them as sitting with the great, without considering the least of others, but as a place of happiness, peace, and love, it must be very different from our Heaven on earth.
 
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#10
I dont quite understand what you asking in your OP smiler but John the Baptist was a witness to the light (Jesus). Being Jesus cousin, he also, was like the prophet elijah the voice crying in thee wilderness to prepare everyone for the messiah- Jesus and the advent of His Kingdom.

John, being slightly older than Jesus as was born earlier, probably they grew up together. Jesus did defer to John but only cos he was elder. I am sure Jesus was devastated when John was killed but of course thst was part of Gods plan anyway. Actually most every prophet was killed when people didnt like their message.
 
#11
Sorry, Lanolin, I may be a bit dim, but I can't think what the qualifications for being the least in the Kingdom of Heaven would be.
I realise that it would make a difference whether one considers The Kingdom as being here and now, on earth, where we are trying to do God's work for Him, through the Word and Name of Jesus, or whether we are thinking of some rating after the general resurrection and judgement, but it seems a circular process when we remember that "the last shall be first and the first shall be last".
If Jesus was a follower of John for a considerable time, He would look up to him and consider him "the greatest" in many ways, but I am confused by what Jesus then goes on to say.
 
#12
Ok smiler sorry I hadnt looked up the passages you were referring to, but reading them now they both say those that are born of women there has not risen greater than John the baptist. Born of women basically means natural birth. Those born in the kingdom of God, Jesus is referring to spiritual birth.

So the least in the kingdom of heaven, i.e born again believers, are going to be greater than John, he could mean in terms of numbers or spreading the gospel message. Also, John while he baptised with water, was not healing people or perfoming miracles, he was only calling for people to repent. GOd sent us natural born prophets (born of women) up until John, Jesus was begotten of God, and the firstfruits to be resurrected. I know Jesus had Mary as a mother but his birth was supernatural. Jesus referred to himself as the 'son of man' but everyone knew him to be 'the son of God' Jesus was IN the kingdom of heaven, John only declared it. But he prepared the way.

Hope that makes sense. JEsus did mighty works, he said we are even going on to do greater than he did. JEsus was also talking about those who were 'gorgeously apparelled' and 'live delicately' in the Kings court. Basically those that lived in luxury with fine clothes. JOhn by contrast was speaking to the great unwashed and eating wild locusts and honey. But Jesus said John was greater than all those high born courtiers.

Another time Jesus referred to 'the least of these' he was talking about those who were hungry and thirsty (For God) and children, the poor, the lame, the blind etc.
 
#13
When we enter the Kingdom of heaven, we are given our spiritual clothes...the fine white linen robes that are washed clean of every sin. The first shall be last and the last shall be first, is referring to, maybe the order that people enter on resurrection day or judgement day. Think about all the people that heard the gospel since John first was preaching up until present day. Are the people living now going to be first or the people living back then going to be the first to rise. That is millions of believers over the whole course of history, as many descendants as grains of sand or stars in the sky, as God had promised Abraham.
 

AtomicSnowflake

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#14
I can't think what the qualifications for being the least in the Kingdom of Heaven would be.
Well in the commentaries I mentioned, they make the point that up until that time, John was the "greatest" of the men/prophets... all the other foretold of the coming of Christ. But John was living when He came, and he knew him. He was the one that got to announce His arrival...

After Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit... we have Christ/Spirit within us. As Jesus prayed, that we be one with Him. He abides within us. We know Him personally/internally...


Adam Clarke:
A greater than John the Baptist - A sixth excellency of the Baptist - he was greater than any prophet from the beginning of the world till that time: -
  1. 1st. Because he was prophesied of by them, Isaiah 40:3, and Malachi 3:1, where Jesus Christ himself seems to be the speaker.
2ndly. Because he had the privilege of showing the fulfillment of their predictions, by pointing out that Christ has now come, which they foretold should come. And
  1. 3dly. Because he saw and enjoyed that salvation which they could only foretell. See Quesnel.
Notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven - By the kingdom of heaven in this verse is meant, the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel of peace; which fullness was not known till after Christ had been crucified, and had risen from the dead. Now the least in this kingdom, the meanest preacher of a crucified, risen, and glorified Savior, was greater than John, who was not permitted to live to see the plenitude of Gospel grace, in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Let the reader observe,
1st. That the kingdom of heaven here does not mean the state of future glory. See Matthew 3:2.

2dly. That it is not in holiness or devotedness to God that the least in this kingdom is greater than John; but
3dly. That it is merely in the difference of the ministry.

The prophets pointed out a Christ that was coming; John showed that that Christ was then among them; and the preachers of the Gospel prove that this Christ has suffered, and entered into his glory, and that repentance and remission of sins are proclaimed through his blood. There is a saying similar to this among the Jews: "Even the servant maid that passed through the Red Sea, saw what neither Ezekiel, nor any other of the prophets had seen."

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Burton Coffman:
Read his commentary here. I cannot copy/post it here due to copyrighted material. His commentary is much shorter, simply stated, and to the point :)



Also.... The Biblical Illustrator states:


The kingdom of heaven, in the sense here intended, commenced with the day of Pentecost; it is essentially connected both with the in-dwelling and out-pouring of the Holy Ghost. John said. “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”

1. The least in the kingdom of heaven is participator of all that the God of heaven can bestow. Nothing more can be given him.

2. The least in the kingdom of heaven is a member of the bride’s.

3. The least in the kingdom of heaven is a temple of the Holy Ghost.

4. The least in the kingdom of heaven has the spirit of adoption-the spirit of a son.

5. The least in the kingdom of heaven is brought into relationship with each of the Persons in the Trinity, in a sense which John was not.

6. The least in the kingdom of heaven may therefore become the greatest. Let us realize the greatness of the gospel dispensation. (Capet Molyneux, B. A.)





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bobinfaith

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#15
Dear AtomicSnowflake;

Thank you for sharing. I've always enjoyed reading Adam Clarke's commentaries. You complement Smiler's original thread in that God's great, given purpose in John will lead believers to a spiritual heritage having seen and known Christ and His finished work on the cross.

Nice outline!

God bless you and your family.