Thursday, January 15, 2009

Christophanies Part 4

I was going to continue the series I am doing by going through some of the clear prophecies that can only be about Jesus Christ. I changed my mind due to some passages that I recently read in Genesis. I titled this post christophanies but that is a little misleading because what I really want to look at are some sneak peaks of the trinity in the Old Testament. Let me pause for a second and explain some of the terms I am using. A christophany is a fancy term that theologians like to use to describe an appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament before he became a man. The trinity is the word used by Christians to describe the nature of God as three persons and one essence; there is one God and the Father is God, the Son (Jesus) is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. The New Testament offers clear revelation of God as trinity that is not seen in the Old Testament. The concept of the one God as more than one person, however, is not entirely foreign to the Old Testament. Since my overall point of these series is the consistency of the Bible as a whole I thought it might be useful to point out some of these passages. I had just decided to post about this instead of the prophecies of Christ this morning so I am only going to focus on the passages I came across recently. I did mention that my focus is not specifically Christophanies, but if anyone is interested in more passages along the lines that I am talking about, googling Christophanies is a good way to lead you in that direction. In Genesis chapter 21 Hagar (she is the bondwoman that Sarah gave to Abraham for a child earlier in Genesis) is sent away from Abraham's camp. So Hagar leaves with the son she bore Abraham and after all their water is gone she puts him under a bush and goes a little way off because she does not want to see the boy die. Then we come upon this encounter with God

And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is."Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." Gen 21:18-19

Here is an example where "the angel of God" starts out speaking on behalf of God "...for God has heard the voice of the boy..." and then in the next breath promises he [the angel of God] would do something that only God can do "...I will make him into a great nation." It seems to me that there are only two ways to deny that the angel of God is God in this case: 1.) argue that beings other than God can make Abraham a great nation 2.) somehow make a disconnect between the angel of God and the pronoun I in the passage. If anyone would like to argue these things I would be interested to read the comments. I also would like to offer one more example. God told Abraham to take his only son Isaac and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. Abraham takes his son and tells him that God will provide the lamb. Just before Abraham is about to bring the knife down on his son, the angel of the Lord appears.

But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." Gen 22:11-12

We once again see that the angel of the Lord speaks about God " fear God..." but then makes himself out to be God "...your only son from me." Again, if someone wants to argue this, they would have to make a case that I am not following the pronouns correctly.

I would love to hear what everyone thinks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is a list of all the Angel of the lord appearances in the old testament