Luke J. Wilson | 28th April 2015 |
I'm going to start a new category here for "General Interest" which will be for things I see or read about that I think are interesting or informative about the Bible, Christianity or the Faith in general; but which aren't necessarily topics I could, or would need to, write a full blog post about.
I'll kick off this new venture with an brief look at something I read the other day from the Dead Sea scrolls which is very interesting – Qumran text 4Q521. It gives us a glimpse of early Jewish expectations of the coming Messiah from the time before Jesus arrived, and shows just how Jesus did actually meet those expectations.
For example, when John asks his disciples to enquire of Jesus if he is the Messiah, Jesus's response is pretty much a direct quote of this Qumran text.
Read this from Matthew 11:2-6 and then compare with the quotes from the Qumran scroll below:
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
Here's an excerpt from the article I read, with some quotes from the scroll:
We now have an unambiguous statement that “raising the dead” was one of the key expectations of the Messianic age in this community.
Line 11 of this text also contains another highly striking feature. Indeed, it appears to be the closest and most direct linguistic parallel to a New Testament text that we have yet discovered. The line reads:
For he will heal the wounded, resurrect the dead,and proclaim glad tiding to the poor.
In both Matthew and Luke we read of a deputation that John the Baptist sends to Jesus while John is imprisoned. John’s disciples ask Jesus, “Are yo...
Luke J. Wilson | 10th April 2014 |
UPDATE (3rd May 2014): It is now believed to have been confirmed as a hoax/fake; read the full story on The Wall Street Journal.
Ancient and not a fake according to scientists
IMAGE: HARVARD UNIVERSITY, KAREN L. KING/ASSOCIATED PRESS
A little while ago, there was some hoopla in the news about a newly discovered fragment of papyrus from ancient times which contained the phrase "Jesus said to them, 'my wife...,'". Obviously, and not surprisingly, the media made a big deal out of this. Atheists and the like, saw it as a blow to Christianity and conspiracy theorists everywhere thought it confirmed their views that the Vatican and the Catholic Church were part of some big cover-up to hide the "truth" about Jesus: that he married Mary Magdalene and had children.
But before we all get too carried away at the so-called implications of this, lets now forget one thing: Jesus being a bridegroom and having a bride (ie. a wife) is in the Gospels and New Testament all along.
In his parables, Jesus often referred to, or implied himself as the bridegroom (Matthew 9:15; Mk 2:19; Lk 5:34), whilst the people of the Kingdom of God were a part of the bridal or wedding party (Matthew 25:1-13; Jn 3:29).
In Paul's second letter to the Corinthian church, he speaks of them as a bride to be presented to Christ, the husband (2 Cor 11:2), and also to the Ephesian church, Paul draws a parallel between the love of a husband and wife being the same kind of love and commitment as Jesus had for his church:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25)
This theme of husband and wife with Jesus as the groom and husband even follows through into John's apocalyptic Revelation, probably in a more vivid depiction than the previous examples:
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the ...