Interesting discussion on Wednesday night regarding John’s use of ‘eternal life’. What is Jesus really talking about here? Is it concerning post-mortem existence? As we discussed John 17.3 seems to suggest something of the present:
‘This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’
Notice John is arguing knowing God is eternal life. Therefore our current understanding of eternal life meaning: ‘what happens when you die’ is challenged.
Therefore as New Testament Scholar Howard Marshall argues “the most comprehensive term in John for what Jesus gives to people is life or eternal life, which is to be understood as sharing in the life of God [John 1:4] (Marshall, p. 520).” And this isn’t reserved for some future time after death, but rather something to be experienced and shared in the here and now.