Sunday, September 12, 2010

"I am the light which shineth in darkness"

Just a quick thought, and a question to think about. There are two scriptural phrases that show up in the Bible, Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants that are found separately, but occasionally are found in conjunction. One of these phrases is taken to be literal, meaning it refers to actual physical (historical) events, while the other is interpreted to be metaphorical and symbolic in nature. Both phrases can be found in the first chapter of John where John the Apostle is describing who Christ is. One of the phrases refers to Christ coming to His own people, and being rejected by them, while the other phrase refers to a light which shines in the darkness.

The phrase that is generally considered to be literal is found in John 1:11 and reads, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. " (John 1:11) This phrase is generally understood to be literal, as in Christ came to His people and they did not receive Him. These events are the events found in the four gospels. While the other phrase found in verse five is generally understood to be figurative. "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:5)

So we have these two phrases which appear together, but one is taken to be literal and the other is taken to be figurative. But recently as I was reading in D&C section six and again these two phrases came up; "Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not." (D&C 6:21)

One thing to think about is, when Christ is introducing himself, He uses these two phrases to describe Himself and to explain why He is so important. That is, these are phrases that describe what Jesus has done so that make Him the Christ (and the light and the life of the world). So the second phrase, which is generally considered to be figurative, I think describe real, physical events and should not be taken as (just) figurative.

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