Saturday, February 14, 2004

Mark is on a roll...

Check Mark Roberts' latest series, What Language(s) Did Jesus Speak and Why Does It Matter?. This is not just an academic analysis of what languages Jesus may have spoken. Knowing this information goes beyond, as Mark states, the Trivial Pursuit level. Understanding the intricate matters behind the Scriptures helps us in our ultimate goal of Spiritual Formation. The words we read now, in English, are certainly important, but the more we research into the culture, the history, the personalities, the literary genres, the cohesiveness, and the languages, the closer we get to understanding God's Word. To quote Mark:
What difference does this make to us? It reminds us of Jesus' Hebrew roots. These roots grew deeply into the fertile soil of the Hebrew Scriptures, especially the prophets, and most pointedly the prophet Isaiah. Christians are often familiar with the idea that Jesus fulfilled the prophets, understanding this to mean that he did things the prophets predicted. But Jesus' fulfillment of the Hebrew prophets goes much deeper than this. His way of thinking about God's work in the world, his view of his divine calling, his fundamental message, and ultimately his understanding of the necessity of his death all come from the prophets. I have known this for most of my adult life. But I had never fully grasped the extent to which Jesus' ministry must be understood in light of the Hebrew prophets until I wrote Jesus Revealed. In preparation for this project I re-read the prophets and was astounded by how much their message was continued by and fulfilled in Jesus. I concluded more than ever before that we will never truly understand Jesus until we immerse our minds and hearts in the Hebrew prophets. There we find expression of the yearning for restoration that Jesus offers. There we find hope for the coming of God's kingdom, that which was inaugurated in the ministry of Jesus.

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