Jesus: God Incarnate
|Jesus -- God Incarnate
It is contrary to the faith of Israel that a creature can become God, that a man become God. But it is not contrary to the faith of Israel that God could become one of His own people. This became evident to the Apostles in their experience of the Resurrected Jesus. With the descent of the Holy Spirit on the gathered disciples they, who over forty days had many encounters with the Risen Jesus, were transformed by the Love of God in the Power of God and enlightened with the Truth of Divine Revelation that gave unity to all the library of inspired books of the former Covenant as leading up to the Messiah as the God of Israel becoming the Savior of His People in the flesh, and not of his own people only, but of the whole human race, to which the Church has a mission to bring the Good News of the true destiny of humanity, namely: Life forever with God in intimate love and happiness.
The first believers of the Church were almost all Aramaic-speaking Jews, predominantly from the Holy Land, and so the first Gospel was written from within an Aramaic-speaking Jewish Christian community (Matthew, as attested by Papias); Mark and John also bear the traces of being in Aramaic thought patterns transliterated into Greek by eyewitnesses. Mark, of course, is the founder of the Egyptian Church and reporting the testimony of St. Peter in his Gospel, likewise eyewitnesses. Likewise, Luke is the companion of St. Paul with access to a living Tradition, writing down his account before the destruction of Jerusalem, of the meaning of Jesus as the Incarnation of God becoming one of His people. St. Paul, who had hated the new Church of Jewish believers to the point of active persecution, had such a profound encounter with the Risen Jesus as Lord (i.e., as the God of Israel) as to be totally transformed in belief and energy and the most effective missionary of the Apostolic Church, something not explainable from ordinary experience. The result is the New Testament being written by eyewitnesses or being eyewitness oral accounts written down within two generations of Jesus. That's about as distant as WWII from us now. In other words, very contemporary and reliable.
Since Jesus would have died just before the year 30 A.D., maybe 29 at the latest (he was born 6-4 yrs. B.C.) and John lived into the 90's of the first century, we have historically reliable witnesses far greater than many other ancient events and in far greater number of manuscripts.
The erroneous assumption of the last 200 years of skeptical historical evaluators of the New Testament is their neglect of two major factors: the Aramaic substratum of the Greek New Testament, e.g., thought patterns and ancient tradition of an Aramaic Matthew, and John; and secondly, the omission of the account of the destruction of Jerusalem in the Gospels. The latter silence is as practically improbably as contemporary Jews omitting mention of the Holocaust!
Moreover, the mode of Jesus' death manipulated by enraged religious leaders, points to Jesus' unusual claims of Revelation. He was no political threat to the Romans as later insurrectionists would be. But what would enrage the religious leaders to such an extent if it was not some extraordinary claim, backed up by an authoritative influence over the people: i.e., not words alone, but deeds and an air of special authority, which would threaten the religious control of the Jewish authorities over the people. The fact that the Twelve could boldly proclaim the Resurrection 50 days after Jesus' death, in the very town He died must bespeak of strange events at the time of His death that were known. "Elvis lives" is ludicrous, after all, isn't it? But then there were no life-transforming experiences of Elvis, and his remains are still detectable, nor were there strange occurrences of many of the dead being seen - as in Jerusalem, nor earthquakes, etc.. Certainly no Jew would make himself to be the Lord who was not crazy as well as blasphemous. But God could have made Himself a Jew -- and then things would make sense.by Padro
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