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Bible Alive Jesus Christ 011: “The Mystery of Christ in the Apostolic Church”
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Bible Alive Jesus Christ 011: “The Mystery of Christ in the Apostolic Church”

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Learn what was the greatest scandal of the earliest Church. Find out why the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ took place “in accordance with the Scriptures,” a truth seen in the earliest ...

Learn what was the greatest scandal of the earliest Church. Find out why the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ took place “in accordance with the Scriptures,” a truth seen in the earliest pre-Pauline formulas of the Church. Discover Jesus as the Suffering Servant. See him fresh as Son of Man, Son of David/Messiah, High Priest and Paschal Sacrifice, New Eschatological Israel, Final Adam, and Complete Theophany.

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Bible Alive Jesus Christ 011: “The Mystery of Christ in the Apostolic Church” Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Bible Alive: Jesus Christ
    Class Eleven: The Mystery of Christ in the Apostolic Church
  • 2. The following presentation would be impossible without these resources
  • 3. And most of all…
    By Father Roch A. Kereszty o. cist.
    Thank you Father Roch!
  • 4. Setting the Tone
    Do everything as if He were dwelling in us. Thus we shall be His temples and He will be within us as our God—as He actually is.
    —St. Ignatius of Antioch
  • 5.
  • 6. Setting the Tone
    The first reaction to truth is hatred.
    —Tertullian
  • 7.
  • 8. Setting the Tone
    O Mystery! God's lost Himself, and therefore He, To find Himself again, would be new-born in Me.
    —Angelus Silesius
  • 9.
  • 10. Let us Pray
    O Lord, show Your mercy to me
    and gladden my heart.
    I am like the man on the way to Jericho
    who was overtaken by robbers,
    wounded and left for dead.
    O Good Samaritan, come to my aid.
    I am like the sheep that went astray.
    O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home in accord with Your will.
    Let me dwell in Your house all the days of my life and praise You for ever and ever with those who are there.
    Amen.
  • 11. Summarizing Last Class
    We learned why Jesus did not explicitly state that he was God the Son and what that meant.
    We learned about the battle between exegetes and systematic theology.
    We saw the difference between explicit and implicit Christologies.
    We learned why each of the Gospels center on the identity of Jesus and answers “Who is this man?” in its own way.
    We saw how the transcendent identity of Jesus is revealed primarily in the way he speaks and acts in his Father’s stead and in the way he relates to his Father.
  • 12. The Greatest Stumbling Block
    Deut 21:23—for a hanged man is accursed by God; you shall not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance.
    Jesus’ death was shameful—it was a scandal.
    It suggested his mission was an utter failure.
    One executed on a tree is accursed by God. He cannot be the Messiah
  • 13. The GIFT
    Kereszty explains that only the appearances of the risen One could have convinced the disciples that this horrible death had to be the way to the resurrection and exaltation of their Master.
    They begin to understand the Scriptures by then receiving the Spirit of Christ and Christ himself in the Spirit.
    It is then they discover that Christ’s death and resurrection happened “according to the Scriptures.”
  • 14. The Scandal of the Church
    Didanyone expect the Messiah to suffer and die?
    • The earliest kerygma sees that the whole of the Old Testament, not merely a collection of proof texts, announces that Jesus is the Messiah. What happened had to happen—it was to fulfill God’s plan.
    • 15. They began to identify the patternor “types” of Jesus and his saving work in the major figures and events of the Old Testament.
    • 16. All the Old Testament promises find their fulfillment in Jesus. But then an even more startling discovery came—the Messiah Jesus is the Lord in the same way that Yahweh is Lord of his people and the universe!
  • Big Revelation
    This is a huge unveiling! There is only one God, but somehow the man Jesus himself is God.
    However, Kereszty reminds us, if Jesus himself is God and nevertheless Jesus has a personal relationship to God, there must be a distinction in the one God.
  • 17. Kenosis
    Phil 2:5-11
    Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • 18. A Human Being
    Gal 4:4
    But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
    Rom 1:3
    Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh…
  • 19. Jesus and God
    If the man Jesus himself is God and nevertheless Jesus has a personal relationship with God, what does that mean?
    • It means that there must be a distinction in the One God. Jesus cannot simply equal the Old Testament God.
    • 20. Jesus is “the Son of God.” After his death and resurrection, he sends the Holy Spirit from his Father upon all the believers.
  • The First Creation Story
    In the beginning createdElohim the heavens and the earth. The earth was tohuwubohu, and darkness was upon the face of the tehom; and the Ru’achElohim was moving over the face of the waters. And saidElohim, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
    …And saidElohim, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
    …And saidElohim, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.”
    …And saidElohim, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so.
    …And saidElohim, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.
  • 21. The First Creation Story
    And saidElohim, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.”
    And saidElohim, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.
    Then said Elohim, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So createdEholim man in his own image, in the image of created Elohim him; male and female he created them.
    Note that God creates the Universe and everything within it by God’s all-powerful davar, or Word.
  • 22. Proverbs 8-9
    Does not Hokmah (wisdom) call,does not understanding raise her voice?On the heights beside the way,in the paths she takes her stand;beside the gates in front of the town,at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:“To you, O men, I call,and my cry is to the sons of men.O simple ones, learn prudence;O foolish men, pay attention.Hear, for I will speak noble things,and from my lips will come what is right;for my mouth will utter truth;wickedness is an abomination to my lips.All the words of my mouth are righteous;there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.They are all straight to him who understandsand right to those who find knowledge.Take my instruction instead of silver,and knowledge rather than choice gold;for wisdom is better than jewels,and all that you may desire cannot compare with her…
  • 23. Proverbs 8-9
    “…I, Hokmah (Wisdom), dwell in prudence,and I find knowledge and discretion.The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.Pride and arrogance and the way of eviland perverted speech I hate.I have counsel and sound wisdom,I have insight, I have strength.By me kings reign,and rulers decree what is just;by me princes rule,and nobles govern the earth.I love those who love me,and those who seek me diligently find me.Riches and honor are with me,enduring wealth and prosperity.My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,and my yield than choice silver.I walk in the way of righteousness,in the paths of justice,endowing with wealth those who love me,and filling their treasuries.
  • 24. Proverbs 8-9
    “…Yahweh created me at the beginning of his work,the first of his acts of old.Ages ago I was set up,at the first, before the beginning of the earth.When there were no depths I was brought forth,when there were no springs abounding with water.Before the mountains had been shaped,before the hills, I was brought forth;before he had made the earth with its fields,or the first of the dust of the world.When he established the heavens, I was there,when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,when he made firm the skies above,when he established the fountains of the deep,when he assigned to the sea its limit,so that the waters might not transgress his command,when he marked out the foundations of the earth,then I was beside him, like a master workman;and I was daily his delight,rejoicing before him always,rejoicing in his inhabited worldand delighting in the sons of men.
  • 25. Proverbs 8-9
    “…And now, my sons, listen to me:happy are those who keep my ways.Hear instruction and be wise,and do not neglect it.Happy is the man who listens to me,watching daily at my gates,waiting beside my doors.For he who finds me finds lifeand obtains favor from Yahweh;but he who misses me injures himself;all who hate me love death.”
    Hokmah (Wisdom) has built her house,she has set up her seven pillars.She has slaughtered her beasts, she has mixed her wine,she has also set her table.She has sent out her maids to callfrom the highest places in the town,“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”To him who is without sense she says,“Come, eat of my breadand drink of the wine I have mixed.Leave simpleness, and live,and walk in the way of insight.”
  • 26. Proverbs 8-9
    …He who corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;reprove a wise man, and he will love you.Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning.The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom,and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.For by me your days will be multiplied,and years will be added to your life.If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;if you scoff, you alone will bear it.A foolish woman is noisy;she is wanton and knows no shame.She sits at the door of her house,she takes a seat on the high places of the town,calling to those who pass by,who are going straight on their way,“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”And to him who is without sense she says,“Stolen water is sweet,and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”But he does not know that the dead are there,that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
  • 27. Who is this?
  • 28. Word & Wisdom
    Looking at Genesis and Proverbs, we see the Word of God and the Wisdom of God. By what ways do we recognize Jesus in these Jewish traditions?
    By seeing Jesus as the Eternal Word and Wisdom, what are we saying about the Son?
    As the Eternal word and the Wisdom of God, the Son has already been at work from the beginning of history. He is the one in whom everything was created.
    He is Yahweh in whom Israel encountered God throughout her history in so many forms and ways.
    Is this easy to see in the Old Testament?
    No. These mysteries can only be expressed by re-thinking and re-applying the terms of the Old Testament.
  • 29. Apotheosis
    Kereszty cites Martin Hengel (d. 2009) who held that the process of “the apotheosis of the crucified Jesus” occurred in less than twenty years:
    The discrepancy between the shameful death of a Jewish state and the confession that depicts the executed man as a pre-existent divine figure who becomes man and humbles himself to a slave’s death (Phil 2:6-8) is, as far as I can see, without analogy in the ancient world. It also illuminates the riddle of the origin of the Christology of the Early Church. Paul founded the community in Philippi in about the year AD 49, and in the letter which he wrote to the believers there about six or seven years later he will have presented the same Christ as in the preaching which brought the community into being. This means that the “apotheosis of the crucified Jesus” must have taken place in the forties… (see The Son of God. The Origin of Christology and the History of Jewish-Hellenistic Religions, pp.1-2).
  • 30. “In all the Scriptures”
    The New Testament is clear: The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ took place in accordance with the Scriptures. This is seen in the earliest pre-Pauline kerygmatic formulas of the Church.
    • Paul sees in the Old Testament that God has promised through the prophets the Gospel of the Son. The Law and the Prophets are prophetic anticipations of Christ.
    • 31. The unity of the prophetic and apostolic proclamation is that the subject and the object are the same.
    • 32. The object of the prophetic proclamation and the preachers is the sufferings destined for Christ and the glories that follow them. The subject is the Spirit of Christ who testified in advance through the prophets and inspired the evangelists.
  • “In all the Scriptures”
    The terms “Law of Moses,” “the Prophets,” and “the Psalms” show that according to Lucan theology all of Israel’s Sacred Scriptures refer to Jesus, Lk 24:27, 44-45—
    And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself…Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures…
    We already discovered that the death and resurrection of Christ occurred “in accordance with the Scriptures” in the pre-Pauline Kerygmatic formulas of the Church, 1 Cor 15:3-4—
    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures…
    Paul says even more. He declares that God has already announced the Good News about his Son in the Scriptures, Rom 1:2—
    …which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures…
    See how Paul sums up the Scriptures, Rom 3:21—
    But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it…
  • 33. “In all the Scriptures”
    1 Cor 10:1-11—
    I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
    Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance.” We must not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents; nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come.
    See how Paul discovers in the very narrative of the Pentateuch the a prophetic anticipation of Christ?
  • 34. “In all the Scriptures”
    Kereszty explains that the clearest theological synthesis on the christological interpretation of the whole Old Testament is found in 1 Pet 1:10-12—
    The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation; they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
  • 35. ALL, but only FEW cited
    In the early Church, only a limited number of texts were used to refer to Christ. These have been referred to as the “testimonia”. They consist of
    Eschatological/ Apocalyptic texts (Joel 2-3; Zechariah 9-14)
    Prophetic texts which assure God’s condemnation of sinful Israel and the coming of the kingdom. (Isaiah 6:1-9:7; Jeremiah 31:10-34)
    Suffering Servant passages and some of the Psalms: What is described is the suffering of an innocent one whom God rescues from death.
    Certain Christological texts (eg. Ps 110; Genesis 22:18)
  • 36. The Key to Understanding
    The Isaian servant passages are seen as the key by which the New Testament writers discovered a single plot in all the different texts.
    Both the suffering servant and the Son of Man texts provide the key to the Christological reference of the Old Testament themes.
    By suffering vicariously for all, he is exalted as the Son of Man.
  • 37. A New Understanding
    Kereszty explains that this selection and conflation of texts results in a creative new understanding of the histories of both Israel and the world.
    But this new understanding does not “do away” with the original historical meaning of these SELECT Old Testament texts—it both respects and extends their original meaning.
    It enables theologians like Paul and John, and later exegetes as well, to ENLARGE the selection of Scripture texts and ultimately to center the entire Old Testament on one single PLOT or STORY.
    What is the plot? The Divine Economy; God’s Master Plan of Salvation which culminates in Jesus Christ.
  • 38. The Suffering Servant of Yahweh
    There are four servant sayings in the Deutero-Isaiah. The Four Songs are:
    Is 42:1-9
    Is 49:1-6
    Is 50:4-11
    Is 52:12-53:12
  • 39. The First Song
    Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;I have put my Spirit upon him,he will bring forth justice to the nations.He will not cry or lift up his voice,or make it heard in the street;a bruised reed he will not break,and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;he will faithfully bring forth justice.He will not fail or be discouragedtill he has established justice in the earth;and the coastlands wait for his law.Thus says God, the LORD,who created the heavens and stretched them out,who spread forth the earth and what comes from it,who gives breath to the people upon itand spirit to those who walk in it:
  • 40. The First Song
    “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness,I have taken you by the hand and kept you;I have given you as a covenant to the people,a light to the nations,to open the eyes that are blind,to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,from the prison those who sit in darkness.I am Yahweh, that is my name;my glory I give to no other,nor my praise to graven images.Behold, the former things have come to pass,and new things I now declare;before they spring forthI tell you of them.”
  • 41. The Second Song
    Listen to me, O coastlands,
    and hearken, you peoples from afar.The LORD called me from the womb,from the body of my mother he named my name.He made my mouth like a sharp sword,in the shadow of his hand he hid me;he made me a polished arrow,in his quiver he hid me away.And he said to me, “You are my servant,Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”But I said, “I have labored in vain,I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;yet surely my right is with the LORD,and my recompense with my God.”
  • 42. The Second Song
    And now the LORD says,who formed me from the womb to be his servant,to bring Jacob back to him,and that Israel might be gathered to him,for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,and my God has become my strength—
    he says:“It is too light a thing that you should be my servantto raise up the tribes of Jacoband to restore the preserved of Israel;I will give you as a light to the nations,that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
  • 43. The Third Song
    The Lord GOD has given methe tongue of those who are taught,that I may know how to sustain with a wordhim that is weary.Morning by morning he wakens,he wakens my earto hear as those who are taught.The Lord GOD has opened my ear,and I was not rebellious,I turned not backward.I gave my back to the smiters,and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;I hid not my facefrom shame and spitting.For the Lord GOD helps me;therefore I have not been confounded;therefore I have set my face like a flint,and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
  • 44. The Third Song
    …he who vindicates me is near.Who will contend with me?Let us stand up together.Who is my adversary?Let him come near to me.Behold, the Lord GOD helps me;who will declare me guilty?Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;the moth will eat them up.Who among you fears the LORDand obeys the voice of his servant,who walks in darknessand has no light,yet trusts in the name of the LORDand relies upon his God?Behold, all you who kindle a fire,who set brands alight!Walk by the light of your fire,and by the brands which you have kindled!This shall you have from my hand:you shall lie down in torment.
  • 45. The Fourth Song
    For you shall not go out in haste,and you shall not go in flight,for the LORD will go before you,and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.Behold, my servant shall prosper,he shall be exalted and lifted up,and shall be very high.As many were astonished at him --his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,and his form beyond that of the sons of men --so shall he startle many nations;kings shall shut their mouths because of him;for that which has not been told them they shall see,and that which they have not heard they shall understand.
  • 46. The Fourth Song
    Who has believed what we have heard?
    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?For he grew up before him like a young plant,and like a root out of dry ground;he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,and no beauty that we should desire him.He was despised and rejected by men;a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;and as one from whom men hide their faceshe was despised, and we esteemed him not.Surely he has borne our griefsand carried our sorrows;yet we esteemed him stricken,smitten by God, and afflicted.But he was wounded for our transgressions,he was bruised for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,and with his stripes we are healed.All we like sheep have gone astray;we have turned every one to his own way;and the LORD has laid on himthe iniquity of us all.
  • 47. The Fourth Song
    He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,yet he opened not his mouth;like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,so he opened not his mouth.By oppression and judgment he was taken away;and as for his generation, who consideredthat he was cut off out of the land of the living,stricken for the transgression of my people?And they made his grave with the wickedand with a rich man in his death,although he had done no violence,and there was no deceit in his mouth.
  • 48. The Fourth Song
    Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him;he has put him to grief;when he makes himself an offering for sin,he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days;the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand;he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied;by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,make many to be accounted righteous;and he shall bear their iniquities.Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great,and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;because he poured out his soul to death,and was numbered with the transgressors;yet he bore the sin of many,and made intercession for the transgressors.
  • 49. Does Jesus Call himself the Servant?
    Jesus never explicitly identifies himself as the Servant. What does he describe himself as?
    Indirectly, in third person, Jesus describes himself as “Son of Man.”
    However, according to Jesus, for the Son of Man to be glorified, he must fulfill the destiny of the “suffering Servant.”
    The servant is chosen by God and the favor of God rests on him. He was not only to bring back a remnant of Israel, but to be the light to the nations, so that God’s salvation will reach the ends of the earth (see Is 42:1-6 and 49:1-6).
  • 50. Seeing Jesus as the Servant
    The Servant’s had a disciple’s tongue
    Is 50:4—The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary.
    Morning after morning his ear is opened to hear the Word of God.
    Is 50:4-5—Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward.
    The Servant is like a sharp two-edged sword, or like an arrow in the quiver of God.
    Is 49:2—He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away.
  • 51. Seeing the Servant
    The vocation of the Servant is fulfilled without great publicity or ostentation—he is no celebrity.
    Is 42:2—He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street…
    He is merciful.
    Is 42:3—a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench…
    His work brought him persecutions. But he consistently obeys the Call and performs his task.
    Is 50:5-6—The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
    His life seems like a complete failure, yet he never loses trust in God.
    Is 50:9-10—Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up. Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the LORD and relies upon his God?
  • 52. Seeing the Servant
    Disfigured, the Servant is thought of as one punished and accursed by God.
    Is 52:14, 53:3—As many were astonished at him—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men … He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    He is truly innocent.
    Is 53:9—…although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
    Like a sacrificial lamb he remains silent as he voluntarily dies the death we deserve.
    Is 53:7-8—He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away…
  • 53. Seeing the Servant
    Put to a shameful death, it seems he would be forgotten.
    Is 53:8—and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
    He his buried among the wicked sinners.
    Is 53:9—And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death,
    Yet the saving will of God is accomplished through him because he freely gave his life as a sacrifice for sin and to intercede for sinners.
    Is 53:10—Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand;
  • 54. Seeing the Servant
    God will exalt the Servant to the Heights. The Servant will see the Light and his descendants in a long life.
    Is 52:13, 53:10-11—Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high … he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
  • 55. Summing up the Servant
    The servant is chosen by God to restore Israel and be the light to the nations. He possessed the tongue of a disciple.
    He fulfilled his vocation without any great publicity. Yet at the same time his work called forth hatred, opposition and torture. He did not do violence and never lost his trust in God.
    He was disfigured beyond human appearance and avoided because people assumed his punishment was from God. He himself was innocent.
    Giving his life for sinners, the saving will of God is to be accomplished through him. Because of his voluntary sacrifice, it took away the sins of the many, including the Gentiles.
  • 56. Who is this Servant?
    We must remember that the text identifies the Servant as Israel (Is 49:3).
    When Christians reflect upon these songs, it is impossible not to recall the outline of Jesus’ public ministry and the Passion accounts in all four canonical Gospels.
    The Songs of the Servant helped the Apostolic Church GRASP the meaning of Jesus’ life and mission BUT THESE SONGS ALSO helped SHAPE and FORM the way the story of Jesus was told.
    Remember: this new TYPOLOGICAL understanding does not “do away” with the original historical meaning of these SELECT Old Testament texts—it both respects and extends their original meaning.
    Israel was CALLED to be the Servant. Jesus IS Israel Perfected.
  • 57. The Son of Man
    Jesus never calls himself Son of God or Messiah in the Gospels. His usual designation for himself is “Son of Man.”
    The Aramaic for “Son of Man” is “bar enasha.”
  • 58. Meaning of the Son of Man
    This title has many references in regard to Jesus. Depending on the context, it can mean the following:
    Any man.
    The servant delivered to death and raised up.
    The witness before God at the eschatological judgment.
    Jesus himself as the eschatological judge.
  • 59. Jesus’ Son of Man without Parallel
    Intertestimental Jewish literature—as well as the Old Testament and later Jewish writings—features prominently “the Son of Man” in its eschatological use.
    However, Kereszty sees three features in Jesus’ use of the expression that are unique:
    The generic meaning of “any man” as used as a circumlocution for “I.”
    The conjunction of the Servant in Deutero-Isaiah with that of the Son of Man in Daniel 7:14.
    The conjunction of Son of Man in Daniel 7:14 with the Lord sitting at God’s right hand in Psalm 110:2
  • 60. Conjunction: Daniel 7:14 & the Suffering Servant
    Mk 10:45—“For the Son of Man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
    Mt 12:40—…the Son of Man [will] be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
    Mt 17:9—Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
    Mk 9:12—And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things; and how is it written of the Son of Man, that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
    Mt 17:22—“The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
    Lk 9:44—“Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men.”
    Mt 20:18—“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”
    Mk 10:33-34—“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise.”
  • 61. Conjunction: Daniel 7:14 & the Suffering Servant
    Lk 18:31—And taking the twelve, he said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; they will scourge him and kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”
    Mt 26:2—“You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
    Mt 26:3-4—Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and took counsel together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.
    Lk 24:7—“…the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise.”
    Mt 20:28—“…the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
    Mt 26:62—And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”
  • 62. Conjunction: Dan 7:14 & Psalm 110:2
    Mk 13:26—And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
    Lk 21:27—And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
  • 63. Apocalyptic Figure
    The Son of Man from the BookofDaniel: He is a mysterious heavenly figure who is a symbol of the eschatological Israel and who stands for the Holy Ones of God.
    The vision of “one like a Son of Man” happens right after Daniel’s vision of four beasts representing four earthly kingdoms.
    The Son of Man is a mysterious heavenly figure. Coming on the clouds, he belongs to God’s realm, and he reaches the Ancient of Days, the source of his dominion, power, and glory.
    The holy ones of God, prior to being glorified, are oppressed by the Fourth Beast (Antiochus IV Epiphanes, d. 164 BC)
    Greek text of Daniel
  • 64. Meaning of Son of Man
    Son of Man in Jesus’self-designation: It expresses Jesus universal identification with all human beings, as well as one with a transcendent dignity.
    He is also seen as one in need; especially as the Servant of Yahweh, who hands over his life to redeem us from our sins.
    Kereszty explains that it is through his redemptive suffering that the low Son of Man (the lowly, “any man”) assumes the role of the high Son of Man (the heavenly apocalyptic figure from Daniel).
  • 65. Son of Man & The Servant
    Oscar Cullmann (d. 1999): “‘Son of Man’ represents the highest conceivable declaration of exaltation in Judaism; ebed Yahweh [Servant of Yahweh] is the expression of the deepest humiliation.”
  • 66. Ramifications of The New Testament Son of Man
    Kereszty explains that the huge range of meaning belonging to the expression “Son of Man” helps us to understand what is the criterion for the final judgment.
    In his glory, the Son of Man reveals that he was precisely ANY MAN and EVERY MAN, that is, the ONE IN NEED; we encounter him in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, or the prisoner on the road of our lives’ journeys (Cf. Mt 25:31-46).
    The Son of Man used in the New Testament then is a synthesis, one by which we understand the christological meaning of the whole history of the Old Testament, of its priesthood and sacrifices, of its Davidic messianism, and ultimately with its connection to Adam and Cosmic history.
  • 67. The New Eschatological Israel
    Kereszty: Jesus, the suffering Servant become glorious Son of Man, must likewise be the “inclusive representative” of his People.
    Jesus is not only an Israelite; he is the new, eschatological Israel.
    Jesus is linked to Israel not only by flesh and blood, but also by freely taking on himself the destiny of Israel. Jesus in fact re-lives the history of Israel.
    Hos 6:1-3—“Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his going forth is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
    This view corresponds to the image of the Head and the Body in 1 Corinthians and the “Vine and the Branches” in John 15.
  • 68. New Testament Perspective
    Hos 11:1—When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
    Cf. Mt 2:14-15—And [Joseph] rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”
  • 69. Nothing Forced!
    C.H. Dodd (d. 1973)—
    It is this far-reaching identification of Christ, as Son of Man, as Servant, as the righteous Sufferer, with the People of God with all its vicissitudes that justifies the apparent employment by the Early Church of Hosea 6:1-3 as a prophecy of the resurrection of Christ; for the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of Israel of which the prophet spoke.
    It is not, therefore, contrived that the Early Church should apply Hos 6:1-3 to the resurrection of Christ on the Third Day—it is shedding light on the common destiny of Christ and Israel.
  • 70. Priest & Victim
    How Jesus fulfills the role of High Priest and all the sacrifices of the Old Testament is impossible to see without understanding him as the Suffering Servant.
  • 71. What is Sacrifice?
    Sacrifice—according to Kereszty, it is a tangible gift given to the god or gods.
    Every primitive religion had sacrifices.
    Motives:
    Assuring the deity’s favor.
    Thanksgiving.
    Atonement for sins.
    Celebrating reconciliation and communion between God and human beings.
    Often these features are commonly distorted in primitive religions, degenerating into the opposite of true sacrifice: rather than expressing humankind’s dependence on the Sacred, they are intended to ensure human control over the Holy.
  • 72. High Priest and Perfect Sacrifice
    In the unique relationship between Yahweh and Israel (the Covenant), faithfulness to the Covenant gave a special flavor to the sacrifices of Israel.
    The Israelites gave thanks for the blessings of the covenant, celebrated the communion established by the covenant and atoned for the offenses committed against it.
    The inner attitude of complete surrender and obedience to God was to be symbolized in the offering of material gifts. The exterior was to be a reflection of the interior.
  • 73. Like Abraham
    The inner attitude of the one sacrificing was to be the faith of Abraham, the one who trusted God and who lived knowing nothing belongs to any one of us—we are only stewards.
    This is an inner attitude of complete surrender.
    By this faith we are able to surrender to God that which is dearest to us.
    The story that best exemplifies this inner attitude was the Aqedah, or, the Binding of Isaac, Gen 22.
  • 74. A Broken Heart
    The symbol of this inner attitude of complete surrender and utter obedience to God is the offering of material gifts.
    Unless there was this inner attitude of a humble and contrite spirit, sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins would be rejected as worthless.
    Psalm 51:17, 19—
    The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise … then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
  • 75. Israel’s Worship Degenerated
    Is1:11, 16, 17, 19—
    “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?says the LORD;I have had enough of burnt offerings of ramsand the fat of fed beasts;I do not delight in the blood of bulls,or of lambs, or of he-goats…
    Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;remove the evil of your doingsfrom before my eyes;cease to do evil,
    learn to do good;seek justice,correct oppression;defend the fatherless,plead for the widow…
    If you are willing and obedient,you shall eat the good of the land…
  • 76. Magic Instead of Mediation
    Israel had perverted their rites disconnecting the conversion of heart with the offered material gift and valued only the latter.
    The Israelite trusted not in Yahweh, but rather in the magical efficacy of the material gift and accompanying rite—they forsook the obedience of faith.
    God had to save them—they performed the prescribed ritual and did their obligation.
    Sacrifice became a commercial transaction—the people could persist in their crimes in safety, covered by the magical umbrella of their struck bargains.
  • 77. Jesus Cleans House
    Hos 6:6—For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.
    Mt 9:13—Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’
    Jer 7:11—Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it!—sayeth Yahweh.
    Mk 11:17—“Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”
    Zec 17:21—And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be sacred to the LORD of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the flesh of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the LORD of hosts on that day.
    Jn 2:21—And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade.”
  • 78. Servant First, then Sacrifices
    Jesus emphasizes metanoia to authentic inner love and life and worship.
    Understanding that helps one grasp why no New Testament text presents his death simply as the fulfillment of the Old Law ritual sacrifices. This is INDIRECT.
    The DIRECT type or shadow of Jesus’ Passion is the voluntary self-offering of the Suffering Servant of Deutero-Isaiah.
  • 79. The Paschal Lamb is the Servant
    So Christian Tradition had to REEVALUATE and REINTERPRET the Passover liturgy and sacrifice through the voluntary self-oblation of the innocent Servant.
    This MUST have occurred PRIOR to Paul proclaiming in 1 Cor 5:7:
    “Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed.”
    Paul and his Corinthian audience were aware that the Authentic Paschal Lamb was no beast but a living human being, namely the Servant, one who silently and obediently ALLOWED himself to be slaughtered.
    Is 53:7—He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,so he opened not his mouth.
    1 Pet 1:18-19—You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
  • 80. Johannine Theology
    In the Fourth Gospel, Jesus is even more identified both with the Servant and the Paschal Lamb.
    Jn 1:29—The next day [John the Baptizer] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
    Jn 1:35-36—The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
    …but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
  • 81. The Letter to the Hebrews
    Hebrews describes the endless sacerdotal activities of the High Priest in a way that underscores their uselessness—they cannot obtain forgiveness of sins.
    Jesus, Firstborn and High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek, is described in a way similar to the priests of the Old Covenant (see Lev 16).
    Nonetheless, the theology of the Letter to the Hebrews makes clear that Jesus’ priesthood is unique:
    He offers his own life instead of goats and bulls.
    Unlike the Levitical Priests, he has sympathy and is in solidarity with sinners like the Suffering Servant.
  • 82. Isaiah 53 Present in Hebrews
    Is 53:4 in Heb 2:10—
    For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.
    Is 53:12 in Heb 7:25, 9:28—
    Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them … so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
    Is 53:10 in Heb 9:25, 10:12—
    Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own … But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God
    Is 53:4 in Heb 13:12-13—
    So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured.
  • 83. High Priest / Victim via Servant Songs
    Kereszty: the personal and existential aspect of his ultimate act of obedience emerge precisely from the New Testament’s sacrificial interpretation of Christ’s death the background being the light of Deutero-Isaiah’s Ebed Yahweh Songs.
  • 84. Jesus the Messiah
    The combination of “Son of Man” and “Suffering Servant” illuminates the term Christ (from the Greek Christos, meaning anointed one or Messiah).
    Soon in the Apostolic Church, the popularity of this title grew so much that it became his personal name—Jesus Messiah, IhsouVCristoV, Jesus Christ.
  • 85. Jesus as the Messiah
    Jesus never attributed the title of Messiah to himself. He permitted “Son of David,” but never tolerated “Messiah.” It gained popularity in the Apostolic Church.
    Jesus imposed silence on his disciples’ use of the term Messiah because of its heavy political overtones. His messianic kingship is only to be revealed in his death and resurrection.
    John sees the death, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus as one event. Pilate became ironically an instrument in God’s plan and proclaimed to the world that Jesus was enthroned on the cross as the king of the universe (Jn 18:28-19:22).
  • 86. The Messianic Secret
    Jesus even corrected, or perhaps deepened, the disciples’ understanding of Messiah by insisting that the Son of Man must suffer and be raised from the dead.
    Mk 8:30-31—And he charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
    Mt 16:20-21—Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
    Lk 9:20-21—And he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
    Meaning: according to Jesus in the Synoptics, the Messianic Kingship is only to be revealed in his death and resurrection, when the Son of Man completes the path of the Servant and is exalted.
  • 87. Davidic Connections
    The Davidic kings, all types of the King Messiah, were sinners and failed to live up to their calling. Their vocation was to be instruments by which the Lord carried out his rule.
    Jesus became the perfect instrument of God’s universal rule and the perfect revealer through his humanity of God’s glory only after he completely gives his human existence over to God by his obedience on the cross.
  • 88. Remarkable Kingship
    Kereszty explains that the True Son of God does not claim kingship until he suffers.
    According to the theology of the Letter to the Hebrews, it was appropriate that the leader to salvation be perfected through suffering and that, even though he was the Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
    Heb 2:10—For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.
    Heb 5:8—Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him…
  • 89. Jesus as Son of Adam
    As he said before, Kereszty explains that “Son of Man” can be used in a way quite opposed to its apocalyptic meaning—it can refer to any and every member of the human race, a son of Adam.
    In this sense it brings forth the human being’s mortal condition, one that is small and fragile.
    This way, “Son of Man” can be used to CONTRAST with God—
    Ezek 2:1,3—And he said to me, “Son of man, stand upon your feet, and I will speak with you.” And when he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel…”
    Here, the prophet is reminded of his mortality, and the vast distance between himself and God.
  • 90. Son of Adam/ Last Adam
    For Luke, Jesus is not only the son of Abraham, but son of Adam. Adam had no earthly father just as Jesus has no earthly father. Adam is the beginning of a sinful humanity. Jesus is the beginning of the renewed humanity.
    The first Adam was expelled from paradise; the New Adam enters paradise (see Lk 23:42-43).
    Paul’s theology makes the distinction even clearer. Through Adam, death entered the world; through the obedience of Christ, all are offered the grace of a new life with God (Rom 5:12-21).
    The first Adam fell by claiming equality with God; the new Adam became the source of new life by emptying himself and becoming obedient unto death (Phil 2:6-8).
  • 91. Sharing the Glory
    Kereszty explains that in his resurrection and exaltation the Second Adam became “a life-giving spirit” for all humankind.
    Those who have faith in him and share in his sufferings will gradually be transformed into his likeness.
    They will share in his glory at the Resurrection.
  • 92. Conformed: the Image of the Son
    1 Cor 15:45-49—
    Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
    2 Cor 3:17-18—
    Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
    Rom 8:29—
    For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.
    Phil 3:20-21—
    But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.
  • 93. The Final Adam
    Jesus is the transcendent heavenly man who has shown us the way to be truly human in a direction exactly the opposite to what human wisdom would suggest.
  • 94. Jesus: final and complete Theophany of God
    Kereszty explains that the Apostolic Church not only characterizes Jesus as the historical and ideal figures from the Old Testament (the Servant of God, the Son of Man, the New Israel, the New David, the True High Priest and Sacrifice, and New Adam).
    At a later stage of reflection, the Church discovers that various revelations of God in history beginning with creation and continuing with the saving events of Israel are all gradual manifestations of the Son, the personal Wisdom and Word of God.
  • 95. Christology in Colossians
    Col 1:16-17—
    “…for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    Kereszty explains that according to Colossians, Christ has been already working in the creation of heaven and earth as Divine Wisdom (implied).
    Cf. Heb 1:1-2—
    In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
  • 96. MattheanHokmah
    • Kereszty says that Matthew implies that Jesus is Wisdom Incarnate.
    • 97. Mt 11:19—
    • 98. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
    • 99. See how Jesus, after chastising the people for their lack of response, refers to himself as wisdom?
    • 100. Mt 11:28-30—
    • 101. “…Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
    • 102. See how Jesus as Wisdom invites everyone to take upon himself or herself his yoke?
  • Johannine Bluntness
    Kereszty explains that while Matthew only alludes to the connection between Jesus and Old Testament Wisdom, the Fourth Gospel makes explicit the pre-Incarnation history of the Word-Wisdom (ho Logos).
    John’s Prologue outlines universal salvation history.
  • 103. Hymn of the Logos
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was turned toward God, and what God was the Word also was. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made. What took place in him was life, and the life was the light of humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
    There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to those who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of a man, but of God.
    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
  • 104. Hymn of the Logos
    (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”) And from his fullness have we all received, a gift in place of a gift. For the law was given through Moses; the gift that is the truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is turned toward the Father, he has made him known.
  • 105. Explicitly Word & Wisdom
    • John’s Gospel makes the pre-Incarnation history of the Word-Wisdom explicit (pre-existence).
    • 106. All that God has done has been accomplished through his Pre-Existent Word or Wisdom, who is the same subject as Jesus Christ.
  • Advent of Wisdom & Word
    Kereszty explains that in Johannine theology, the whole history of both Israel and the world is to be seen as a progressive Advent of the Word who, in the fullness of time, becomes flesh in Jesus Christ.
    He is the light that has illuminated every member of the human race.
    He was present both at the Meeting Tent in the Wilderness and at the Temple.
    When Isaiah saw the glory of Yahweh in the Temple (Jn 12:41), it was the Glory of the Word.
    His presence among the Israelites in the desert and in the Temple, his indwelling in the hearts of the just as Wisdom are merely preludes to his “pitching of his tent” among us which is the Incarnation.
  • 107. Jesus: final and complete Theophany of God
    John goes further than any New Testament document in penetrating the transcendent identity of Jesus. He does this through the “I AM” statements.
    The “I am” describes Jesus’ divine nature and describes the personal identity of Jesus himself. For John, the Name Yahweh seems to directly designate the Son.
    The Son in his pre-existent state of Word, wisdom and Yahweh, had always pointed beyond himself to the invisible God.
  • 108. “I AM”
    Jn 6:19-20—When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, “I AM; do not be afraid.”
    Cf. Ex 3:13-14—Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
    Kereszty explains that the person who walks over the chaotic forces of nature and is their Master is the same one unveiled to Moses in the Burning Bush, the one who freed Israel from the devouring waves of the Sea of Reeds.
  • 109. Ego eimi Statements
    Kereszty explains that absolute “Ego eimi” (I AM) statements lacking a predicate noun or predicate adjective in John expresses the absolute mode of divine being that transcends time.
    Jn 8:24—I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that ego eimi."
    Jn 8:28—So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that ego eimi, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me.
    Jn 8:58—Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was, ego eimi.”
    Jn 13:19—I tell you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that ego eimi.
    Jn 18:5-6—They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “Ego eimi.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When he said to them, “ego eimi,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
    Jn 18:8—Jesus answered, “I told you that ego eimi; so, if you seek me, let these men go.”
  • 110. I AM = the Subject of Jesus
    Kereszty poses that if the name Yahweh describes primarily the personal identity of the God of Israel, rather than his divine being, then, applied to Jesus, it must also describe his personal identity himself.
    According to Johannine theology, “Yahweh” seems to designate directly the Son.
    The Fourth Gospel declares that no one other than the Son has seen God—not even Moses (Jn 1:18).
    Who then did Moses encounter as God? From the Johannine perspective it must have been the Son in Ex 3:14 and whom Israel worshipped as her God throughout her history.
    The Son in his pre-conceptual state as Word, Wisdom, and Yahweh, spoke only about the Father and never about himself, so too Jesus, the Son Incarnate, speaks only about his Father (Jn 1:18).
    The Incarnation then is the definitive arrival of the One who has been speaking to Israel from the beginning. All history is his “drawing near,” a preparation for his coming.
    Jn 8:28—So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.
  • 111. Climax of History
    Kereszty explains that the final and complete theophany of history for Johannine theology is the theo-drama of the crucifixion. Only when his own people crucify Jesus, do they grasp that the crucified their own Lord and God, Yahweh himself.
    But the crucifixion will also be God’s way to Jesus’ ultimate exaltation and universal redemption:
    Jn 12:32—“…and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
    The understanding behind the pre-Pauline hymn of Phil 2:6-11 is strikingly similar to that of the Johannine community. Through his obedience unto death Jesus is exalted and bestowed with “the name that is above every other name.” That can only be haShem (THE Name), that is, Yahweh.
  • 112. Christology Develops in the New Testament
    Richard McBrien and Raymond Brown add that the New Testament presents a continuous development of Christology. Within the New Testament one sees:
    Second-Coming Christology (Luke & Acts)
    Resurrection Christology (Acts & Paul)
    Ministry Christology (the Gospels)
    Family Circle or Boyhood Christology (the Gospels, except Mark, & some Pauline passages)
    Conception Christology (Matthew & Luke)
    Preexistence or Precreation Christology (Paul, John, Matthew & Luke)
  • 113. The Gospels: Products of Different Perspectives
    The Gospels were produced by different Christian communities with distinctive theological perspectives:
    Palestinian—the first, and closest to the earthly Jesus, emphasized the immanent Parousia of Jesus and his fulfillment of the role as apocalyptic Son of Man. The center of their Eucharist is the Aramaic “Maranatha!” or “O Lord, come!” (1 Cor 16:22; Rev 22:20)
    Jewish-Hellenistic—after the Palestinian, a delay in the Parousia caused a major theological shift away from the future to the present exalted state of Jesus, now explicitly proclaimed Lord.
    Hellenistic-Gentile—the final stage, under the impact of missionary activity from Pauline and Johannine theology, combines past, present, and future together; presents explicitly Jesus’ existence divided into preexistence, Incarnation, and exultation.
  • 114. Functional yet Ontological
    The Christology (rather Christologies) of the New Testament are primarily functional.
    Functional Christology emphasizes Jesus saving us—that is, the role he played in effecting our salvation.
    However, New Testament Christology is also ontological Christology—reflecting much of what Jesus was in himself.
  • 115. Interpreting the New Testament
    McBrien explains that up until the 1700s, there was no “New Testament Problem.”
    Christians of every major denomination assumed that the Christ of the New Testament was one and the same with the Jesus of history.
    Then that assumption was challenged, and people became divided over the Christ of faith and the Jesus of history.
    What follows is a brief description of different perspectives of interpreting the New Testament. It represents a spectrum from far conservative right (which holds a real relationship between Jesus’ self-understanding and the Christology of the New Testament Church) to the far liberal left (denying any relationship or continuity between the two).
  • 116. Far Right: Nonscholarly Conservatism
    Holds that the Christology of the New Testament is identical with Jesus’ own self-evaluation.
    Jesus knew and expressed from the start what the Church professed about him following the Resurrection.
    There is no significant Christological development—even if the Gospels were written some 30-60 years after the earthly Jesus.
    This view was first held DEFESNIVELY by Protestant fundamentalists (over against the views of scholars from major Protestant denominations) and other “less-than-fundamentalist” Christians.
    This view was generally held by Catholics, though not defensively, before 1943 and the publication of DivinoAfflanteSpiritu by Pope Pius XII. However, some Catholic fundamentalists have become quite defensive about the old traditional approach ever since.
    Motive for adherence: the one who holds this view seeks to “save” the Christ of faith.
  • 117. Far Left: Nonscholarly Liberalism
    Holds that there is no continuity at all between the Christ of faith and the Jesus of history.
    Jesus was nothing more than an ordinary man, except that he was more brilliant, more of a revolutionary, more of a charismatic,… you pick what you want.
    It’s not about who he was! It’s about what he taught us that is important—he taught us to love one another!
    This view began as a Protestant phenomenon holding wide popularity in the early 20th century before being effectively challenged by scholars and declining membership rolls.
    Some Catholics later on took up this view in reaction to the exaggerated dogmatism of the pre-Vatican II years.
    Motive for adherence: the one who holds this view seeks to “save” his or her favorite idea of the Jesus of history.
  • 118. Far Right & Left: EXTREMES
    McBrien and Brown observe that as with the political spectrum, (Hitler on the farthest right and Stalin on the farthest left) the extremes of biblical interpretation touch.
    Extremes are bad.
    McBrien explains that nonscholarly Conservatism and nonscholarly Liberalism come from those who hold either no biblical degrees and/or no teaching positions in biblical studies or who have not published a body of articles in serious professional journals or such or books which have been reviewed favorably in such journals.
    Note that both extremes ask the same question—How do I know any of it is true? But both give different answers—one completely rejects the Christ of faith for whatever willy-nilly he or she thinks Jesus was actually like. The other rejects all scholarship in favor for the Christ of faith.
  • 119. Just Right of Far Left: Scholarly Liberalism
    Insists that the New Testament Christology is a creation of the early Church. This is true with all liberal interpretations.
    However unlike its nonscholarly counterpart, it does not dismiss the New Testament as unimportant nor reduce Jesus to a teaching of “loving one another.”
    Agreeing with its nonscholarly cousin, it holds that the New Testament’s evaluation of Jesus is mistaken. Jesus of history is one thing; Christ of faith an invention.
    The Historical Jesus was a preacher of stark ethical demand who cut through false ideas of his age and challenged the religious institutions of his culture.
    Had the Early Church not elevated him into godhood then this great teacher and sage probably would have been lost to history. Now that Jesus’ place in history and our collective memories are secure we can discard the “crutch” of Christology.
  • 120. Gratitude to the Liberals
    McBrien and Brown explain that modern biblical scholarship owes a great debt to the work of the scholarly liberals.
    They pioneered the challenge the nonscholarly conservatism that dominated all Christian churches until the eighteenth century.
    The developmental patterns of the New Testament were first discerned by these scholars; the foundation for our present principles of biblical interpretation were laid out by them.
    A great example of scholarly liberalism in both method and content is Wilhelm Bousset(d. 1920) and his work Kyrios Christos.
  • 121. Just Right of Scholarly Liberalism:Bultmannian Existentialism
    Acknowledges a functional equivalence between the Early Church’s Christology and Jesus’ own proclamation of the Kingdom, in that they made the same practical demands on the hearers.
    World War I created a need for a God who saves in Jesus, rather than a Jesus who taught us how to live, and, in effect, save ourselves.
    Unlike the scholarly Liberals, Rudolf Bultmann did not hold that the Christology of the New Testament distorted the import of Jesus. If we are to escape from the vicious cycle of futile existence, it will only be through the saving action of God in Jesus.
    We are called upon to accept this action of God.
    Functionally the preaching is equivalent: where Jesus preached the Kingdom, the Church preaches Jesus.
    If we would dispense with the Church’s proclamation, we would dispense with the challenge which is core to Christianity, a challenge primarily based on what God has done for us, rather than what we can do for ourselves.
  • 122. Heaped with the Liberals
    McBrien and Brown note that some mistakenly categorize Rudolf Bultmann as a liberal.
    But his New Testament theology rejects pre-World War I liberalism. Although he retains the legitimate methodological achievements of scholarly Liberalism, Bultmann denies that the early Church created New Testament Christology (see Jesus Christ and Mythology, New York: Scribners, 1958).
    This does not mean that Bultmann’s own view is clear and unequivocal. Raymond Brown regards it as “difficult to categorize exactly,” and suggests that “in some of his writing at least he is agnostic about the self-evaluation of Jesus” (see Horizons article, p. 45).
  • 123. Just Right of Bultmannian Existentialism:Moderate Conservatism
    Holds to a discernable continuity between the Christ of faith and Jesus’ own self-evaluation. There is some difference of opinion within the moderate group:
    On one side, there are those who hold that the Church’s Christology is explicit in Jesus’ self-evaluation.
    On the other, there are those for whom the Church’s Christology is only implicit in the self-understanding of Jesus.
    Neither side accepts that Jesus applied to himself or accepted the so-called “higher” titles of later New Testament Christology, e.g.: Lord, Son of God, or God.
    Both sides regard the application of these higher titles to have resulted from later Christian reflection on the Mystery of Christ. Where they disagree is on the application of “lower” titles that were known to the Jews in the Old Testament or intertestimental literature—e.g.: Messiah, Prophet, ebed Yahweh, or Son of Man.