Saturday 31 August 2013

If Jehovah is Jesus, then the incarnation may explain differences between Old and New Testaments


The title says it all, pretty much.

Another delayed insight follows:

If it is indeed true that Jesus is Jehovah

then it seems to follow that the apparent differences between the behaviour of Jehovah and Jesus, as depicted on the Old and New Testaments - these differences are perhaps a consequence of the incarnation; are perhaps a consequence of the effect of Jesus becoming Man, inhabiting a mortal body.

Much (not all) of the differences between Old and New Testaments would therefore seem to be a consequence of this difference in God the Son, the story of whose relationship with his chosen people these books record.

To save us, to atone for our sins, God the Son needed to become mortal Man - and this, presumably, had an effect on Him, as well as its effect on us - one effect perhaps being seen in the differences between the 'personality' of the Old and New Testament God.



Titus Didius Tacitus said...

The Bible teaches that God does not change.

Malachi 3:6: "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished."

Psalm 102:25-28: "Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you endure;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence."

Deuteronomy 33:26-29: "There is none like God, O Jeshurun,
who rides through the heavens to your help,
majestic through the skies.
He subdues the ancient gods,
shatters the forces of old,
he drove out the enemy before you,
and said 'Destroy!'
So Israel lives in safety,
untroubled is Jacob's abode
in a land of grain and wine,
where the heavens drop down dew.
Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD,
the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
and you shall tread on their backs."

The Bible teaches that God does not change; his character is definite and does not alter from the beginning to - ever.

Love and obey that god exactly as he always was and is and will ever be. Or pick another god.

There is no third option. (Unless you can take atheism seriously. I can't.)

Alteration is not on the menu, ever. Not in the past, not now, not at all.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TDT - Except that the whole Bible is an account of God changing - or at least changing to human eyes, from a human perspective. Emotions entail change - and God has emotions (love, of course, but anger, sorrow and others).

That God does change (from our human perspective), indeed, is a far, FAR more important thing to emphasize than the abstract and impossible to imagine properties and attributes of a Philosophical God who does NOT change - because the primary Biblical metaphor is God the Father - and Fathers must respond to their children, which entails change.

Philosophers can wrangle over how to combine the absolute and primary requirement that the Christian God whom we must love does change; with the secondary abstract metaphysical property of changelessness which *some* philosophers assert is necessary to anything they are prepared to call 'God'.

Christianity is best exemplified by the loving, trusting 'anthropomorphic' faith of children and simple people; not philosophers (certainly NOT philosophers, of all people!)

J. B. said...

There is a line in C.S. Lewis somewhere which I think captures what you are trying to describe. I can't remember where it is and I'm not sure I can summarize it, either! My best guess is the Problem of Pain. But it is something about how, when we doubt that God is love because of the suffering He permits, we should recognize that when God was on Earth as a Man he acted with perfect self-sacrificial love. I will see if I can find the actual line.

Arakawa said...

Possibly another relevant scripture to cite in reference to a discussion of the ways God does and does not change, would be Hebrews 5:8-9

"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"