"Whosoever" doesn’t exist in John 3:16

Those who hate any form of Calvinism love John 3:16 and think that one word in that verse destroys any concept of unconditional election and irresistable grace. When I was in Bible college, Pastor Mike Johnson, who taught my church history class, said this: "There is one word that destroys Calvinism, it's the word 'Whosoever'!" 
Later down the road, i learned from RC Sproul that Whosoever doesn't say anything about the person's ability to believe, it doesn't say anything about who will believe. It is just an indicative statement that those who believe = those who have eternal life. After learning a little bit of Greek, John 3:16 surprised me!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. KJV

Ou[twj ga.r hvga,phsen o` qeo.j to.n ko,smon( w[ste to.n ui`o.n auvtou/ to.n monogenh/ e;dwken( i[na pa/j o` pisteu,wn eivj auvto.n mh. avpo,lhtai( avllV e;ch| zwh.n aivw,nionĂ…

The literal translation that expands the words to get the full Greek sense, would go something like this:

"In this way, loved God the world, that for this reason - this Son, the only unique one, He gave in order that every one of those who are continuously believing in Him, will NOT EVER perish, but will keep on having life without end."

Arminians and Fundamentalists like to use this as an offer to "whosoever will" and then claim that "whosoever can". However, this most famous verse in the Bible is simply making an emphatic statement about God's demonstrative love as the emphasis and the result of His love is that "everyone who continuously keeps believing" will never ever die! I'm not saying this proves anything one way or the other concerning Calvinism, but it certainly proves that the way it's used by people like my old teacher don't even understand what it really says.

~ Originally posted at Reforming Baptist

1 comment for “"Whosoever" doesn’t exist in John 3:16

  1. May 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Will, One of our members sent me your post. I have appealed for years for people to STOP misrepresenting John 3:16. There is no whosoever in that portion of God’s Word. We have entire conferences here in the SE based on this erroneous interpretation. Keep on keeping on and embrace the mantra that has guided my ministry – – “What does the text say?”

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