Heresies abounding
Ratzinger's Jesus

Slaying with words

...continued from The Hope of Israel

Many Christians are ignorant of the 'messianic' mindset of Jesus' contemporaries and this ignorance has facilitated the building up of the 'Trinity' and other erroneous doctrines of the Churches.

The New Testament portrays Jesus of Nazareth as a perfectly normal human who was chosen by God as an instrument of intervention into wordly affairs. This chosen instrument was the 'anointed' one - the promised Messiah.

By examining the impressions created in the minds of Jesus' contemporaries, we may obtain an idea of the impressions he would create today - human nature is nothing if not consistent. The people who came into contact with Jesus formed varied opinions of him and he was described by the disciples in different ways:

  • the Messiah
  • he of whom Moses in the law and the prophets wrote
  • Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph
  • the son of God
  • the King of Israel

All these descriptions are contained in John 1:40-50

None of the terms by which he was known implied that he was anything other than a normal human conceived and born in the normal human manner.

The writers of the New Testament proclaimed:

  • that Jesus of Nazareth was the 'seed' of Abraham through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed;
  • that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised King of Israel who had been 'anointed' with plenipotentiary powers to usher in the Kingdom of God on earth;
  • that the priestly establishment had inadvertently killed their King because of their own false values and false standards;
  • that the resurrection proved that YHWH's will cannot be thwarted;
  • that a New Covenant had come into being with the resurrection;
  • that this New Covenant had not replaced the Abrahamic Covenant;
  • and that non-Israelites could join the Abrahamic Covenant by a process of spiritual adoption.

Paul provided us with the Alpha through Omega teachings of the Apostles when he uttered these words which, unfortunately, have fallen on deaf ears down through the ages:

"Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand unto this day testifying both to small and great, saying NOTHING but what the prophets and Moses did say should come; How that the Christ must suffer, how that he first by the resurrection of the dead should proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles." (Acts 26:22)

Certainly, Scripture 'slays with words' the 'Trinity' and other Christian church doctrines supposedly based upon it.

Comments

nedbrek

I wouldn't say, "The New Testament portrays Jesus of Nazareth as a perfectly normal human".

Yes, Jesus is a man in every way, shape, and form.

But you are ignoring all the passages that show He is decidedly not like any other man.

Specifically:

the equal with God passages: John 5:18 and Philippians 2:6.

the existing before time passages: John 1:1, John 8:58, Revelation 13:8.

the Father and Son are one: John 10:30, 1 John 5:7.

honor Jesus as God: John 5:23, John 20:28.

Jesus was without sin (all men sin): Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

vynette

Nedbrek
Each of your questions requires a lengthy and detailed response. As you know, I'm working in pre-determined sequence to build a thorough picture.

In the meantime, here is some 'pre-existent' food for thought.

An important argument advanced to prove the deity of Jesus is that he was 'pre-existent'. Support for this contention is usually drawn from the gospel of John.

John gives the spiritual presentation of Jesus that the other gospels lack and, unfortunately, it is from a banal interpretation of these spiritual words that the theory of pre-existence draws support.

"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad" (8:56)

"These things said Isaiah because he saw his glory and he spoke of him." (12:41)

"For if you believed Moses, you would believe me for he wrote of me." (5:46)

The clear meaning of the texts is that Jesus was 'foreknown'. This becomes apparent when texts referring to other people and to dissimilar conditions are considered.

For instance:

"even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love..." (Eph. 1:4)

"For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained 'to be' conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren..." (Rom. 8:29)

"...brothers loved by the Lord because God chose you from the beginning..." (2 Thess. 2:13)

"...although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." (Heb. 4:3)

"...when it testified beforehand the sufferings of the Christ and the glories that should follow them." (1 Pet. 1:11)

"the Christ...who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world." (1 Pet. 1:20)

"Come ye enter the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world." (Matt. 25:34)

If being "foreknown' is the essential qualification, then witnesses, brethren, God's rest, the Kingdom, the redeemed, and many others, would have a claim to be 'pre-existent'.

nedbrek

Jesus' completed work on the cross is foreknown by God (1 Peter 1:20 - proginosko). Those who will be saved is foreknown (Romans 8:29 - proginosko).

But before Abraham was, Jesus IS (John 8:58 - eimee).

vynette

Nedbrek,

When we get to the Trinity (finally), we will examine how the phrase 'I am' has been used to claim deity for Jesus. For now, however -

God's plan for man's salvation existed from the 'beginning'. That Jesus is the physical manifestion of this plan is the major theme of the New Testament.

John 1:1 - the 'word' existed in the beginning and has now been made manifest in the flesh.

1 John 1:1 - the 'word' is the 'word of eternal life'.

1 Peter 1:20 - Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world but now manifested in the flesh.

Rev 13:8 - the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

It was the physical manifestation of God's plan that Abraham 'saw' through faith and rejoiced at.

That Jesus is not claiming to be God in John 8:58 is made clear in the earlier verse 42 - "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; NEITHER CAME I OF MYSELF, but he sent me."

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