Jesus and The Sons of God - Robert Price & Robert Miller  

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http://www.westarinstitute.org/Polebridge/born_divine.html

In this compelling study of the birth and infancy of Jesus, Robert Miller separates fact from fiction in the gospel narratives and relates them to stories about the miraculous births of Israelite heroes and of Greek and Roman sons of God. Born Divine analyzes the Christian claim that the birth and childhood of Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. The historical and theological dimensions of the virgin birth tradition are discussed with honesty and insight. This wide-ranging book also presents additional infancy gospels from the second century through the Middle Ages.

The early Christian belief that Jesus fulfilled prophecy arose after and because of the belief that he was the promised messiah. This very important finding needs to be emphasized. The belief that Jesus was the messiah was the basis for the belief that he was the fulfillment of prophecy. It was not that people noticed that Jesus had fulfilled a series of prophecies and so concluded that he must be the messiah. The process worked the other way around. It was because Christians were convinced that Jesus was the messiah that they went searching through the scriptures to discover which prophecies he had fulfilled. The proclamation that Jesus fulfilled prophecy is a testimony to Christian faith, not a description of its origin.

With this in mind, we can easily see why Matthew's Jewish contemporaries were not persuaded by his "proof from prophecy." It had nothing to do with having hard hearts or closed minds, or being deceived by their leaders. All of that is Matthean caricature. It had to do with the fact that Matthew's presentation of prophecy makes sense only from the perspective of prior belief in Jesus.


Shared on: 13 Apr 2018

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