Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Jesus
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Welcome once again to
this program will be our 59th in our series Jesus delivered messenger of Allah and our 2016 Salah on sin atonement and sacrifice will continue today with the origins of the idea of God incarnate. I'm your host, Rashad, my mission here once again from St. Mary's University is that the general better as
a summary please or last week's program? Okay, we continued the discussion of Francis Young's theory or explanations of the possible roots of the notion of God incarnate. He discussed first the ruler cult indicated that as far as archaeological evidence, there seems to be a coherent evidence of a close parallels between the titles used in the rural ruler, culture, language, and the early Christian titles.
In addition to that, such other terminology like evangelium, God manifest God's Lord, Savior, Son of God has all been used. And he said, That's why they have been some grounds. to criticize those theories. He said that the parallels, even though they might not be exact, are very close really, and one cannot dismiss them, offhand like that. And he says that, that even though some people might think that the Titans were not taking really seriously, like Titan overlords, or gods, but he gave evidence that in that, indeed, it was taken seriously, and many Jews and Christians suffered a great deal for refusal to admit that Caesar is Lord.
Then we move to the discussion of the second approach in terms of the Divine men, the idea that existed in the Hellenistic world, that is a person who is endowed with superhuman, miracle making powers. And we said that this seemed to be similar to what Mark speaks about Jesus as a divine man century. And he might have possibly been influenced by this tradition, which existed in his time. And then we indicated Finally, that this theories, these two theories are not the only ones. They are the context of the emergence of early Christology, you might say, but that there's a lot in the mystery religions of the Greco Roman world, where salvation was impacted by believing or identifying
with a dying and rising gods. And this was related to the Incarnation and language used by Paul also, which might also have had some roots in the Gnostic redeemers type of mythology.
And then we refer to something that was really interesting is that in Judaism, out of which Christianity is found, or early Christianity at least, was not totally insulated from, from the influence of ideas around them at that time, especially the usage of the term Son of God, which has been used quite frequently in Judaism as the ID and King, Messiah, type of protocol. And he said that even though this might be somewhat different from the Hellenistic understanding of the term, it is only a difference in in function, but not in nature. And then he concluded that the Jews perhaps were not really totally insulated from that surrounding environment around them. And there is
evidence in some Jewish writings refer to the writings of Josephus and Philo of Moses even being believed by some that he ascended to divinity ascended to heaven now,
but the Bible saying that Moses was was buried.
Now, how does chemo reconcile that with the with the ascension of Moses? This is the filler words out of that, because that's a famous statements that you find in the book of Deuteronomy, I think, specifically in chapter 34, about the death and burial of Moses. So you're right. The Bible actually does say that. However, Philo tries trying to reconcile that story about Jesus being taken to heavens, with his burial as described in the scripture and what the uncle is
Intellectual terms, somewhat vague, but doesn't really give a full explanation of how to reconcile them. For example, He indicates that Moses was summoned by the father who quote, resolved his twofold nature, of soul and body
in a single unity, transforming his whole being, the being of Moses into mind, pure as the sunlight.
So that sort of philosophical reconciliation really,
in other Hebrew works, we find, again, Moses being described as one of three who ascended to heaven, the other two being an operand, Elijah.
Some stories about the transformation, or transfiguration might say, even of Moses
young indicates that in this site, this seems to be some indication with the Jewish writings were, in some degree, different degrees, you might say, affected by the Hellenistic motifs. And then some of them might be connected with something which is basically biblical tradition about the ascension of Enoch and Elijah.
Did you would you inaugurate for us on these traditions? Well, on Elijah, in one of the earlier programs, we were discussing some of the basis for the deification of Jesus peace be upon him the question of miracles. We quoted the second Book of Kings, chapter two, verse 11. And the Bible would say is that Elijah ascended into heaven, in a World Wind. So this is biblical actually. And maybe that's the reason why.
It is believed by some scholars that the story of Elijah really is not indigenous to Jews. And we cannot really say for sure whether that was influenced by the Hellenistic ideas, even though it might be similar.
On the other hand, we find that the second return of Elijah, and that's another interesting analogy also, is to be found also in the Bible in the book of Molokai and chapter four, verse five.
But the it is interesting to notice that in some Jewish literature, including the Babylonian Talmud, for example, if it said there that Elijah lives as a supernatural being
that is sometimes intervene on Earth. Sometimes we give examples of Eliza appearing to a rabbi, for example, and talking to him, explaining to him the world to come.
There is some legends about Elijah coming in disguise, to convince a council not to exterminate the Jews. So there seems to be some biblical basis in terms of ascension and even second return or transformation into some kind of angelic or super natural being. So we talked about Moses, but Elijah, the third personality, that seems to have some roots in Judaism or in Jewish traditions, is the story of no rch. I believe, as some scholars do that this is probably the equivalent to the term that appears in the Quran of Prophet Idris. So it's possibly it might be possibly the same. But in any way, in any case, you notice that we don't,
we have actually,
perhaps a little bit more documentation on the assumption of No,
not only on the basis of the Bible, but also in some of the esoteric Jewish, mystical writing or mysticism.
And they say that this seems to support a different theory from the theory that used to be held by his or her neck, that the origin of Gnosticism was, or Gnosticism, in fact, was a sort of radical hellenization of Christianity. And it says the discovery of this books of anarchy, seemed to give sufficient grounds to say that Gnosticism
was not totally just a Hellenistic type of thing. But Gnosticism did exist also in Jewish circles.
But in any case, he says that there's enough text now,
which seem to suggest some form of deification, for any
any any examples of how I'm
The distribution of energy. Well, he refers first to the Bible, even itself, even though the evidence or ensure might not be that conclusive. For example, in the book of Genesis, chapter five, verse 24, it says, no work with God, and he was not for God took him. Well, that's rather vague, however,
by reference to the New Testament, as young suggests, for example, in the book of Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 11, verse five, it seems to indicate that early Christians understood that to mean, some sort of
supernatural thing that happened to me, for example, it quotes from Hebrew court No, was taking up, so that he should not see that that's a Christian expression, so that he should not see death, not just normally. And he was not found, because God had taken him.
All right. In the opinion of young, the most
striking thing that can be related to that story can be found actually, in a series of books known as the Hebrew books of nr.
In one of those books, it describes the angel by the name of Metatron, speaking to one rabbi,
and telling him that he was once No, who went up on the wings of Sakina.
To the sky, to the highest heavens, where did the Holy One is, and that he was transformed to become the greatest of angels. So it didn't really die, it just transformed into angelic form.
The thing which is even more interesting,
as young suggests is that
this meta Tron engine, the engine, or no, in the form of engine, six in the heavens, unlike anyone else except God, so he's the only one who's sitting with God.
In the third book of Anna, for example, it says that he sits on a throne,
or like a throne of glory,
and that he acts
as God's ruler over all the powers of heavens, and that the angels send and prostrate to him, that God has revealed all his secrets to him to that injured or to enter. And Cobain Dennis has Java.
And perhaps as young suggests, this may be explained, and the exodus 3221.
When it says, For My name is in him, my name is in him.
And after having said that, young turns to the expressions used by, by porn, and these affirmation about Jesus peace be upon us as they were remarkably close.
Why, sceptic, for example, the book of Romans,
beliefs are visiting bye for chapter eight, verse 34.
In Philippians, chapter three, verses nine through 11. It says the cause with his Jewish background, says that Jesus, peace be upon him, sits on the right hand of God. He says that God exalted Him, and gave him a name.
above every name, of course, then that above every name is the name of God, remember again, for my name is in him, the same thing that was mentioned about No, and that every meal, Paul says, must bow to him. Again, remember, the angels barreling in Heavens to enter.
And he notice here, that in spite of the fact that there are other differences, and the third book of No,
that perhaps make the parallels between me and Jesus, not quite identical. It says, however, the Christian information about Jesus peace be upon him.
So just kind of similarities that cannot be really
If evidence or discussion that young study Jewish sources, what was his conclusions? When he summarizes that into three basic points. One is that even though there are some differences between the Jewish and Hellenistic parents, especially in music, some using sound, the phrase is like, Son of God.
Despite all of that, still, the parallels are very suggestive.
that the Hellenistic mythology at that time seem to have been on the verge of making a strong impression on the various expressions used by Jews, especially at least the Jewish groups that were Greek speaking Greek speaking Jews.
there were beliefs in both Hellenistic and Vedic literature, belief in some exceptional individuals who ascended at least to the level of engines, it's not like Hellenism thoughts in regards to the level of engines. And that, again, has some kind of similarity. To clarify this comparison, he goes on. And he says that, for example, the Greco Roman philosophers believed that all gods that they believed them were lesser beings under a supreme being.
In Judaism, however, they didn't believe in this as gods, but at least as lesser heavenly beings, in a sense of angels. So there's, you know, not full or perfect patterns, but a great deal of similarity. He also says that the main difference really was in terms of the terminology and the implication whether these benefits should be worshipped Did you said no, the Greco Romans worshipped those minor deities, you might say,
however, young notice, or notes that in the debates
relating to Oregon that we cited earlier in a previous program,
Oregon took or adopted the Jewish positions, that only the father should be worshipped, that any worship should be directed through the son, but should be actually to the Father, there is no direct worship of the Son, but only to the Father.
Now, since the Jews lived in angels, how did that relate to the use of the term Son of God? In the Old Testament, when young notes that in more than one place in the Old Testament, we find that angels also are referred to as sons of God, I just get some references for shortness of time and any viewer of course, can check on that like in Genesis chapter six, verse two and four, in Deuteronomy, chapter 32, verse is in the Psalms of David, number 29, verse one.
In addition to this, you find the Bible also sometimes make reference to what you might call heavenly counsels. You find that in the 89, verse seven, in the first chapter of the book of Job,
in that time of the prophet Daniel, we find even more specification of some of the duties or responsibilities or jurisdictions, you might say, of the of the engines,
and also in some of the Jewish legends.
Some of those figures, the angelic figures, used to come to Earth again, in disguise, like in Genesis, for example, Chapter 18, when it speaks about the men who came to visit Abraham. And again, they work angels are supposedly one interpretation of angels, and that those angels may intervene in some of the worldly affairs. And all of these ideas actually
precedes the New Testament, and might somehow relate to the Gnostic Redeemer type of God. However, young Notice also that one of the fragments of the so called dead sea scrolls, the Qumran scrolls, is very much connected with the New Testament, because it speaks about ninja deck, which is a deck was mentioned the Bible By the way, and describes him in that in those dead sea scrolls as the heavenly one who executes God's judgment
that he is above all other engines, and to whom, quote, God delegates the prerogative of judgment and mercy, and the great day of atonement at the end of time, no one that we find that
in the book of Hebrew, for example, Paul speaks about Jesus as one after Scots after the orders of Manchester
but of course, some of the exegesis or the interpret
The Bible, in the early days is different as to whether mentioned subject mentioned in the Bible was indeed human, or an engine. You might recall in a previous program, the Bible in the book of Hebrews, it describes Minster Sadat as one who didn't have a father or mother, that there was no beginning or end to his days. And maybe that's this strange expression, you know,
might have been the reason why there was difference as to whether the Bible really speaks about the human or angelic form or what.
But this Paladin, however, seemed to indicate that for sure,
the Christology the way Jesus was interpreted, and driven conditional was somewhat connected with what Jung calls the Jewish Angel, speculation.
Are there any other examples of the Jewish influence on the development of the idea of God incarnate?
Yes, there are more actually.
As indicated earlier, of course, the
sometimes it is a combined influence, maybe like, you might say, Jewish Greco Roman influence, perhaps working at the same time.
But young actually, to address that issue refers to one important authority
on the Greco Roman religious scene at knock, n o ck. He's an editor of a book we mentioned in a previous program called essays on religion and the ancient in the ancient world, published in 1972.
And the one quotation he would be interested in, you can take it verbatim, it says, quote, The Christian hole has its roots in Palestine,
Christian theology, and above all, Christology have there's an Alexandria
explanation for this, that he says that
the very famous principle known as the logos in the O g, or as the logos, which actually is the foundation of the first chapter of the gospel, according to john, and in the beginning, there was the Word the Word was with God, the Word was God. Luther says, The Word became flesh and all that, that this is essentially an adaptation of the concept of the logos,
with the only difference between is that the word that became finished in this case, and according to john was Jesus peace be upon him.
And then he indicates that this Jewish philosopher phaedo,
who was actually a contemporary of Paul, and perhaps had the same Greek tendencies, because he was trained in Greek theology and perhaps in the physic turrets
is the one who presented the theory of the logos that became the very foundation of the idea of guarding parameters as being the word, the Incarnate Word of God. Now, I understand, of course, the determine the concept of logos, might be a bit complex, philosophically, but let me try with the help of the explanation given in the article by a young man referring to the dictionary also, just give some kind of brief explanation of what it means. Now, the term logos actually is a Greek term,
which means reason, reason, or you can also understand it as the controlling principle of the universe manifests in speech.
in theology, however, according to the dictionary is it says that logos actually means the second person of the Trinity, ie, the world. All right. Now, going back to the pre Christian, concept of logos, Jewish, fears, ideas.
pseudo here, speaks about God in what you might call dualistic language, how it speaks about God as God, the transcendent,
and also God the imminent imminent his eyes, by the way, I am in a and
empty amendment got amendment.
What the reverse is, of course everybody understand what got transcendence means that God being transcendent in the sense that he exists
apart from the material world.
That's why he called transcendent
God. Amen. And However, he speaks about his prisons, through the universe, but we still speak about God so he can send them
And he put his present through the universe that there's dualism. There's both of them.
And he says that when the Bible, that's pitfield idea, when the Bible in the book of Genesis, for example says that God created man in his own image, this does not refer to God, the transcendent, but the first two gods, the eminent Why? Because he says, There is nothing at all that is more than
that can be created in the image of God, that transcendent, because being transcendent means that he is apart the material world, so there is no image to create. But he says, however, that
what the Bible refers to is that God created man in the image of God, amen, and not God, the transcendent, God who is present to the world, according to this loss of you,
which by the way, is very much connected to with Plato.
Plato also says the intelligible world came in the mind of God
and has his word or reason the logos
provided the pattern of creation.
And that's such the locus then, is the imminent bond,
which keeps the multifarious creation in unity.
In other words, the transcendent God is related to the world through the mediator, or his logos, or words of wisdom.
The other point that
Philo presents in terms of expanding the logos is that he says that the logos is not only God, but it is also man.
At times, even he called him God's first born, or word. Again, we're speaking here about philosophy prior to the development of the early Christology. A third point is that the logos, according to Philo, has direct access to realities. In other words, the logos does not have to depend upon instructions to learn, but he has direct access to realities. This is perhaps as brief as possibly can be said in terms of summarizing the concept of the logos. But anyone, of course, who is familiar with the physiology and the Bible in the New Testament, especially the way the ideas of Paul and the writer of the gospel of john Gardner's who
seem to indicate that the concept of logos historically has been really preserved and cherished by the early church and perhaps to give the inspiration of the early theology of Jesus to be encountered Incarnate Word. Well, you've mentioned inspiration, what what kind of inspiration to Christian theology from the pharaohs idea of logos. Well, according to two young feeler, actually, you say certainly provides a pre Christian pictures of some sort of intermediary between of the kinds of Christian later on identified with Jesus. In fact, if you go to the object, another reference by Ansari
which he compared the titles that were comment about Jesus in early days, and the title is given to the logos by seagull, and they're very, very, very close, you know, terms like the intercessor, healer, or healer, heavenly food image of God Shepherd, fountainhead of wit of all wisdom, first born, seated immediately next to the one God. All of this has been used to refer to, at the locus in Philo's writing and the same has been also attributed or identified with Jesus peace be upon him. Some researchers, however, notice that the language of phaedo are is rather akin to the Pauline and Johanna type of of language, the adopted Sanskrit, if you might say, being in Christ, dwelling in
him, and he and us. And while he says that there is no conclusive evidence that the writings of Philo well known to the writers of the New Testament, perhaps with the exception of the writer of the book of Hebrews, the problem really, the question is not about cielo alone, but about the kind of background in the wider world of Hellenistic Judaism as you might call, in which which was a word that we lost a great deal of evidence according to too young, but he says that it is very likely
The Ford was under the very same influence like Philo. Both of them were affected by the assumed or actualization of wisdom in physical form. And this idea is actually may have some roots in the book of Proverbs in the Bible itself even. That's the materialization of wisdom.
Okay, thank you very much. Thank you all for joining us here once again.
Your questions and comments would be most appreciated from all of us as I like