Thursday, January 20, 2011

Studying the Bible

I received a new study bible for my birthday, and while this may seem weird to some, I am loving it. My scripture study has been rejuvenated and I'm discovering lots of connections that I otherwise wouldn't. Here's a few of the interesting tidbits, so far.

Moses is a type [1] for Christ:
  • Matthew 1:1 - "generation". The Greek word here is "genesis," translated elsewhere as "origin."
  • Matthew 2:15 - "Out of Egypt I have called my son." is a quote from Hosea 11:1. In Hosea, "son" refers to Israel. This quotation recalls Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
  • Matthew 2: 16-18 footnote - "The massacre echoes Pharaoh's ruling at the birth of Moses."
  • Matthew 4:2 - Moses also fasted for 40 days/nights, when he communed with the Lord and wrote the 10 commandments (Exodus 34:28).
Elijah is a type for Christ:
  • Matthew 3:1 - "wilderness of Judea" is associated with Elijah stories
  • Matthew 4:2 - Elijah did not eat for 40 days after being fed by an angel (1 Kings 19:8)
  • Matthew 4:11 - what the KJV renders as "ministered to" is translated in the NRSV as "waited on," reminiscent of Elijah's being fed by an angel
Allusions to Jacob
  • John 1:47 - Jesus says of Nathanael "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!" Now, I have to admit, I've read this a dozen times without ever thinking about why Jesus said this, or why John felt to record it. To the best of my knowledge, there is no anecdote of Nathanael elsewhere in the New Testament where his lack of guile becomes significant. One could argue that it is simply to prompt Nathanael's next question, but I also like this thought: "Israel was the name given to Jacob, who had been deceitful (Gen. 27:34-36)." Or as the Scripture Scouts sing "Jacob, Jacob do come quick. We will play a little trick." However, this allusion would be glancing without the next one.
  • John 1:51 - "you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." Again, as far as I know, Nathanael witnesses no such thing. But Jacob did (Gen. 28:12). [2]
Thus we see that Matthew and John framed their testimonies of Jesus in the context of the scriptures they had at the time.

[1] Defined here as "a symbol of something in the future, as an Old Testament event serving as a prefiguration of a new testament event."
[2] I always regarded the dream of Jacob's ladder as of little significance. Hopefully, due to scripture scouts, my kids won't make the same mistake. They sing, "
Jacob had a ladder, so high! Jacob had a ladder, oh my! Jacob had a ladder, that's true. But you and I have ladders, too."

No comments:

Post a Comment