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Hello. Polite atheist here. I got to wondering about something which (to my thinking ) is really “just” an academic issue. It may not seem so trivial to you.

Is it very important Jesus’ name was Jesus?

I find the relatively recent debate regarding the historicity of Jesus (whether he was an actual historical figure, or an entirely mythic being) interesting. I remain doggedly agnostic about it, but I have to admit, until I started learning the different arguments, I had always assumed the Gospels recount a factual documentation of an actual person named “Jesus” in the historical record; an established fact. I now understand it is not nearly so definitively proven as the lives of other notable biographies from antiquity. Before you dig into the task of convincing me one way or the other (to which I am honestly amenable, either way), I shall finish my question.

One line of reasoning I genuinely like is that of the late (and, no doubt, damned) Christopher Hitchens, who contended it doesn’t matter if Socrates actually ever existed. Somebody came up with the ideas ascribed to him, and the spelling of that person’s name is of secondary importance, if that.

The Bible presents other foundational principles with ambiguity. For instance, the Hebrew Old Testament refers to God with the names El, Elohim, Adonai, and Yahweh. Jewish mysticism holds that God’s full proper name is unpronounceable and would be lethal to utter even if it were, and that Yahweh is an acronym (the Hebrew letters for YHVH) for use in sacramental activities. Funny thing. In profane conversation, very religious Jews never utter the word “Adonai” (our God), instead using the word “Adoshem” (our [name]) or “Hashem. (the [name]). They only speak “Adonai” in prayer so as to stay as well clear of breaking Commandment #2 as possible, even by accident.*

Whoever communicated the good news of the Gospels was undeniably Christ. Christ, meaning “messiah,” being a position or a function or some definitional quality or characteristic. My NAME is Kirby. But I am FATHER to my children.

I understand a preference for details which seem to fulfill and confirm Biblical prophecies pre-dating and predicting the arrival of Christ. But, unless I am confused, the most specific Hebrew prophecy concerning the name of the messiah says it shall be “Emmanuel” (literally, “God is with us.”) Which I hope is not easily confused with “Jesus” or “Joshua” or “Jeshu” or other such related proper names.

I listen to debates during which a great deal of energy is squandered arguing over whether Jesus’s ministry was all that original or whether it coopts and merges material from numerous antecedent sources as an expedient to forming a unified creed and church. I only find such “controversy” of passing interest. A majority of the world’s human family worships Christ (though, one must include Catholics in order to reach that tally. I’ve met quite a few here who reject the validity of Catholic faith.) So, to me, WHOEVER composed those teachings IS Christ.

I know my atheist predisposition skews my take on it and was wondering where some of you come down on the matter.

* — Bonus fact: Devout Judaism is choc full of fun, curious intricacies like this name thing. For instance, it is forbidden to slaughter any animal nearby a body of water. Care to guess why? (Hint: It’s the same reason Muslims are forbidden to pray on a polished floor.)
 
Member
Hello,

I would say, yes, it was important.

It was predicted hundreds of years before, that a child by the name Emmanuel (God with us) would be born of a virgin. Quite a supernatural event.

Isaiah 7:14 - Matthew 1:20-25

Even more so what the prophecy of Jesus since Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve sinned (talking to the serpent: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. "

The entire OT is basically a leading up to Jesus the Christ, his death, burial, and resurrection, the establishment of his kingdom, and the "blotting out" of the Mosaic law and bringing about the new covenant in which all who wish to obey should follow.

Jews and the Judaism they do now days is an obsolete system. Those laws have been removed by the Christs sacrifice. The book of Hebrews was warning Jews not to return to that system. So needless to say, we probably shouldn't compare the ones today to anything that relates to the new covenant and salvation.

In Jewish society back then, you needed two or more witnesses. Jesus had the four gospel writers who witnessed, then the apostles, then multitudes, then the 500 and the apostles when he was resurrected. There was many many witnesses.

So, was the name important? I would say so. The bible predicted him hundreds and thousands of years before, and then he came just as promised by God. Named exactly as God said to Isaiah in 7:14. Born of a virgin exactly as foretold.

People can choose to believe this or not. After all, Jesus did miracles in front of the Jews and many didnt even believe him then.

Also, I was a little confused. Atheists are "sure" and completely positive God doesnt exist. Agnostics are more undecided as what to believe.

I noticed you said atheist before, but also agnostic. Did I misunderstand?

I hope I answered the main question point. I kinda got lost with what you were getting at and the question to it with the rest.
 
Loyal
Yes it matters. The core of the Christian faith is 'Jesus is Lord'. If our faith was founded on the contention that 'Jesus is wise' it would be rather different.

By way of analogy, I'm not sure if Job was an historical character, or the product of inspired imagination. But, like Socrates, it makes little difference to the value of the Book of Job as a drama of wisdom.
 
Member
Hello,

I would say, yes, it was important.

It was predicted hundreds of years before, that a child by the name Emmanuel (God with us) would be born of a virgin. Quite a supernatural event.

Isaiah 7:14 - Matthew 1:20-25

Even more so what the prophecy of Jesus since Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve sinned (talking to the serpent: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. "

The entire OT is basically a leading up to Jesus the Christ, his death, burial, and resurrection, the establishment of his kingdom, and the "blotting out" of the Mosaic law and bringing about the new covenant in which all who wish to obey should follow.

Jews and the Judaism they do now days is an obsolete system. Those laws have been removed by the Christs sacrifice. The book of Hebrews was warning Jews not to return to that system. So needless to say, we probably shouldn't compare the ones today to anything that relates to the new covenant and salvation.

In Jewish society back then, you needed two or more witnesses. Jesus had the four gospel writers who witnessed, then the apostles, then multitudes, then the 500 and the apostles when he was resurrected. There was many many witnesses.

So, was the name important? I would say so. The bible predicted him hundreds and thousands of years before, and then he came just as promised by God. Named exactly as God said to Isaiah in 7:14. Born of a virgin exactly as foretold.

People can choose to believe this or not. After all, Jesus did miracles in front of the Jews and many didnt even believe him then.

Also, I was a little confused. Atheists are "sure" and completely positive God doesnt exist. Agnostics are more undecided as what to believe.

I noticed you said atheist before, but also agnostic. Did I misunderstand?

I hope I answered the main question point. I kinda got lost with what you were getting at and the question to it with the rest.

One of my greatest disappointments in Christian interpretation of Christ prophecy in the Old Testament is how often they strike me as hopelessly vague. One refreshing exception is the keen specificity of Isaiah 7:14. But it SPECIFIES the messiah’s name shall be “Immanuel.” I.e., a very specific proper name which is decidedly NOT “Joshua/Jesus.” If the name is itself important, could you please square that circle for me? As I say, messiah and Christ are, in my opinion, job descriptions. So the person’s given human name does not strike me of central importance. If it IS important, then I think Isaiah 7:14 demands a pretty explicit apologetic. Otherwise, citing it as a prophecy, and a FULFILLED one at that, is like calling BINGO! at a church function, then reading off the letters B-O-I-N-P.

I know in common usage, “atheist” and “agnostic” are often used interchangeably. If you are one or the other or both and care about such things they become quite distinct.

Atheism describes the status of one’s belief. Agnosticism characterizes one’s claim to knowledge, or, rather, lack thereof. I hope you’ll agree there are people who truly and sincerely believe in God, but might fall short of claiming to know as a matter of factual information that God exists, OR (perhaps less controversially) claim to know, for certain, God’s nature in any given level of intricate detail. Such people are agnostic theists.

I am both. I do not (for the moment) believe in the existence of any gods, nor do I claim that I know any exist or do not exist. Note this is quite distinct from believing there is no such thing as God. This is another common and, in my opinion, more unfortunate misconception about atheists.

Incidentally, I’ve taken to claiming I don’t actually BELIEVE in the existence of anything in particular. I know that may come across as just an argumentative antic. But a while ago it occurred to me whether or not I “believed” in something, anything at all, has no bearing upon whether that thing actually does exist. So, there is a long list of things the existence of which I am CONVINCED. My children, Sophia Loren, my pathetic lack of self esteem, etc. I do not believe UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft. But, I have every confidence, if they DO exist, their extraterrestrial pilots do not care whether I believe in them in the least. I am told God DOES care whether I believe in him. If this is so, he knows precisely what it would take to convince me. But I don’t hold it against him if he doesn’t want to put in that effort. ‘Til then, so far as I am concerned, the jury is out.
 
Member
One of my greatest disappointments in Christian interpretation of Christ prophecy in the Old Testament is how often they strike me as hopelessly vague. One refreshing exception is the keen specificity of Isaiah 7:14. But it SPECIFIES the messiah’s name shall be “Immanuel.” I.e., a very specific proper name which is decidedly NOT “Joshua/Jesus.” If the name is itself important, could you please square that circle for me? As I say, messiah and Christ are, in my opinion, job descriptions. So the person’s given human name does not strike me of central importance. If it IS important, then I think Isaiah 7:14 demands a pretty explicit apologetic. Otherwise, citing it as a prophecy, and a FULFILLED one at that, is like calling BINGO! at a church function, then reading off the letters B-O-I-N-P.

I know in common usage, “atheist” and “agnostic” are often used interchangeably. If you are one or the other or both and care about such things they become quite distinct.

Atheism describes the status of one’s belief. Agnosticism characterizes one’s claim to knowledge, or, rather, lack thereof. I hope you’ll agree there are people who truly and sincerely believe in God, but might fall short of claiming to know as a matter of factual information that God exists, OR (perhaps less controversially) claim to know, for certain, God’s nature in any given level of intricate detail. Such people are agnostic theists.

I am both. I do not (for the moment) believe in the existence of any gods, nor do I claim that I know any exist or do not exist. Note this is quite distinct from believing there is no such thing as God. This is another common and, in my opinion, more unfortunate misconception about atheists.

Incidentally, I’ve taken to claiming I don’t actually BELIEVE in the existence of anything in particular. I know that may come across as just an argumentative antic. But a while ago it occurred to me whether or not I “believed” in something, anything at all, has no bearing upon whether that thing actually does exist. So, there is a long list of things the existence of which I am CONVINCED. My children, Sophia Loren, my pathetic lack of self esteem, etc. I do not believe UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft. But, I have every confidence, if they DO exist, their extraterrestrial pilots do not care whether I believe in them in the least. I am told God DOES care whether I believe in him. If this is so, he knows precisely what it would take to convince me. But I don’t hold it against him if he doesn’t want to put in that effort. ‘Til then, so far as I am concerned, the jury is out.


I do not come across many like you. Usually one comes to prove a point and will not look at any evidence whatsoever regardless. You my friend, have been quite seemingly honest and see the material I supplied, and respond in kind to the material at hand.

To start off, his given human name is still of importance as much as the "title" given to him (Emmanuel). The Lord came to Joseph in a dream and commanded/told Joseph to name him Jesus. Strongs states the meaning of the name Jesus is "Jehovah is salvation". Nevertheless, a command by the Lord to give a specific name, especially in light of its meaning, should be of importance to say the least.

Now since I did mention "Emmanuel" as a title, and like you seem to have assumed already, I thought of this information below for you.

To place a quote here from a fellow brother in another congregation, he responded to someone with the same reply:

The question was:
I have another question from my studies involving Isaiah:

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).

How is it that Jesus was not named Immanuel? Is this a contradiction?

Also, I've heard that virgin is a mistranslation and it is actually maiden.

The Answer given:
It would be a rare individual who is only known by one name. To my children I'm known as "Dad." The children in the congregation call me "Mr. Jeff," but my college students will call me "Mr. Hamilton" or "Professor Hamilton." Some names are given, some are based on a person's role, while others are descriptive. As an example, Esau was given his name because he was born hairy and Esau means "hairy" in Hebrew. However, later he was know as Edom (Red) because he sold his inheritance for a bowl of red bean soup. Both Esau and Edom are proper names for the same man.

According to Matthew, "But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us"" (Matthew 1:20-23). Matthew states that the fact that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit means the passage in Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled.

The reason is simple. Immanuel is a descriptive name. It states that God took on human form. It is the same as stated by John. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1-4, 14). Jesus was his given name, which means Savior. Immanuel was a descriptive name because it tells us of his nature. Christ is another of his names, which tells us of his role, the Anointed of God. All of these names are accurate and proper.

Yes, there are groups out there who try to find ways to deny the obvious, that biblical prophecy existed and was fulfilled. They can't stand that a prophecy made 700 years before Christ could accurately record an "impossible" detail. The Hebrew word is 'almah, which means a young, marriagable woman. In usage in the Old Testament it consistently refers to a young woman who has not had sexual relations with a man.

"behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, "Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink" (Genesis 24:43).

"And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child's mother" (Exodus 2:8).

"The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; Among them were the maidens playing timbrels" (Psalm 68:25).

"The way of an eagle in the air, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, And the way of a man with a virgin" (Proverbs 30:19).

"Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you" (Song of Solomon 1:3).

"There are sixty queens And eighty concubines, And virgins without number" (Song of Solomon 6:8).

The problem is that there is no evidence in any of the passages to prove that the Hebrew at the time of its writing did not refer to a woman who did not have sexual relations with a man.

In Isaiah 7:14, notice that the emphasis is on the mother, a virigin, but no mention is may of the father. This is unusual in Israelite culture.

When the Old Testament was translated to Greek by the Jewish scholars 200 years before Christ, they chose the Greek word parthenos to translate 'almah in Isaiah 7:14. Parthenos is the Greek word for virgin, a young woman who has not had sexual relations.

But the best evidence comes from Matthew 1:23. Matthew is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and those his words were chosen by the Spirit (I Corinthians 2:12-13). The Holy Spirit translated Isaiah 7:14 into Greek using the word parthenos. Therefore, while a few men object, God has indicated that the correct translation is virgin.

End quote.

Granted he was trying to answer 2 questions, it still pertained to what you where asking about "Jesus" and "Immanuel"

In addition to this information, I might suggest looking carefully at Matthew 1 when the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream.

"20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus."

Applying this to the quote above, I hope this would be more clear now. Further information by David Guzik's commentary:

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”: Matthew rightly understood that the supernatural conception of Jesus was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14.

i. There has been some measure of controversy regarding this quote from Isaiah 7:14, primarily because the Hebrew word almahcan be translated as either virgin or “young woman.”

ii. We know the Isaiah passage speaks of Jesus because it says the virgin shall be with child, and that conception would be a sign to David’s entire house. Those who deny the virgin birth of Jesus like to point out that the Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 translated virgin (almah) can also be translated as “young woman.” The idea is that Isaiah was simply saying that a “young woman” would give birth, not a virgin. While the near fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy may have reference to a young woman giving birth, the far or ultimate fulfillment clearly points to a woman miraculously conceiving and giving birth. This is especially clear because the Old Testament never uses the word in a context other than virgin and because the Septuagint translates almah in Isaiah 7:14 categorically virgin (parthenos).

c. Immanuel: This title of Jesus refers to both His deity (God with us) and His identification and nearness to man (God with us).

i. Jesus is truly Immanuel, God with us. “Christ, indeed, was not called by this name Immanuel that we anywhere read of…but the import of this name is most truly affirmed and acknowledged to be fully made good in him.” (Trapp, on Isaiah 7:14)

ii. “In what sense then, is Christ God with us? Jesus is called Immanuel, or God with us, in his incarnation; God with us, by the influences of his Holy Spirit, in the holy sacrament, in the preaching of his word, in private prayer. And God with us, through every action of our life, that we begin, continue, and end in his name. He is God with us, to comfort, enlighten, protect, and defend us, in every time of temptation and trial, in the hour of death, in the day of judgment; and God with us and in us, and we with and in him, to all eternity.” (Clarke)

iii. We can deeply meditate on the meaning of this name – Immanuel.

· It shows how low God bent down to save man; He added the nature of one of His own creatures to His own divine nature, accepting the weaknesses, frailties and dependency that the creature experiences.· It shows what a great miracle it was that God could add a human nature to His own and still remain God.· It shows the compatibility between the unfallen human nature and the divine nature; that the two could be joined shows that we are truly made in the image of God.· It shows that we can come to Him; if He has come to us, then we can come to Him. “Then, if Jesus Christ be ‘God with us,’ let us come to God without any question or hesitancy. Whoever you may be you need no priest or intercessor to introduce you to God, for God has introduced himself to you.” (Spurgeon)
iv. “John Wesley died with that upon his tongue, and let us live with it upon our hearts. – ‘The best of all is God with us.'” (Spurgeon)



I hope all was made clear. If not, do let me know.
 
Member
I do not come across many like you. Usually one comes to prove a point and will not look at any evidence whatsoever regardless. You my friend, have been quite seemingly honest and see the material I supplied, and respond in kind to the material at hand.

To start off, his given human name is still of importance as much as the "title" given to him (Emmanuel). The Lord came to Joseph in a dream and commanded/told Joseph to name him Jesus. Strongs states the meaning of the name Jesus is "Jehovah is salvation". Nevertheless, a command by the Lord to give a specific name, especially in light of its meaning, should be of importance to say the least.

Now since I did mention "Emmanuel" as a title, and like you seem to have assumed already, I thought of this information below for you.

To place a quote here from a fellow brother in another congregation, he responded to someone with the same reply:

The question was:
I have another question from my studies involving Isaiah:

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14).

How is it that Jesus was not named Immanuel? Is this a contradiction?

Also, I've heard that virgin is a mistranslation and it is actually maiden.

The Answer given:
It would be a rare individual who is only known by one name. To my children I'm known as "Dad." The children in the congregation call me "Mr. Jeff," but my college students will call me "Mr. Hamilton" or "Professor Hamilton." Some names are given, some are based on a person's role, while others are descriptive. As an example, Esau was given his name because he was born hairy and Esau means "hairy" in Hebrew. However, later he was know as Edom (Red) because he sold his inheritance for a bowl of red bean soup. Both Esau and Edom are proper names for the same man.

According to Matthew, "But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us"" (Matthew 1:20-23). Matthew states that the fact that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit means the passage in Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled.

The reason is simple. Immanuel is a descriptive name. It states that God took on human form. It is the same as stated by John. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1-4, 14). Jesus was his given name, which means Savior. Immanuel was a descriptive name because it tells us of his nature. Christ is another of his names, which tells us of his role, the Anointed of God. All of these names are accurate and proper.

Yes, there are groups out there who try to find ways to deny the obvious, that biblical prophecy existed and was fulfilled. They can't stand that a prophecy made 700 years before Christ could accurately record an "impossible" detail. The Hebrew word is 'almah, which means a young, marriagable woman. In usage in the Old Testament it consistently refers to a young woman who has not had sexual relations with a man.

"behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, "Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink" (Genesis 24:43).

"And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." So the maiden went and called the child's mother" (Exodus 2:8).

"The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; Among them were the maidens playing timbrels" (Psalm 68:25).

"The way of an eagle in the air, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, And the way of a man with a virgin" (Proverbs 30:19).

"Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you" (Song of Solomon 1:3).

"There are sixty queens And eighty concubines, And virgins without number" (Song of Solomon 6:8).

The problem is that there is no evidence in any of the passages to prove that the Hebrew at the time of its writing did not refer to a woman who did not have sexual relations with a man.

In Isaiah 7:14, notice that the emphasis is on the mother, a virigin, but no mention is may of the father. This is unusual in Israelite culture.

When the Old Testament was translated to Greek by the Jewish scholars 200 years before Christ, they chose the Greek word parthenos to translate 'almah in Isaiah 7:14. Parthenos is the Greek word for virgin, a young woman who has not had sexual relations.

But the best evidence comes from Matthew 1:23. Matthew is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and those his words were chosen by the Spirit (I Corinthians 2:12-13). The Holy Spirit translated Isaiah 7:14 into Greek using the word parthenos. Therefore, while a few men object, God has indicated that the correct translation is virgin.

End quote.

Granted he was trying to answer 2 questions, it still pertained to what you where asking about "Jesus" and "Immanuel"

In addition to this information, I might suggest looking carefully at Matthew 1 when the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream.

"20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus."

Applying this to the quote above, I hope this would be more clear now. Further information by David Guzik's commentary:

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”: Matthew rightly understood that the supernatural conception of Jesus was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14.

i. There has been some measure of controversy regarding this quote from Isaiah 7:14, primarily because the Hebrew word almahcan be translated as either virgin or “young woman.”

ii. We know the Isaiah passage speaks of Jesus because it says the virgin shall be with child, and that conception would be a sign to David’s entire house. Those who deny the virgin birth of Jesus like to point out that the Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 translated virgin (almah) can also be translated as “young woman.” The idea is that Isaiah was simply saying that a “young woman” would give birth, not a virgin. While the near fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy may have reference to a young woman giving birth, the far or ultimate fulfillment clearly points to a woman miraculously conceiving and giving birth. This is especially clear because the Old Testament never uses the word in a context other than virgin and because the Septuagint translates almah in Isaiah 7:14 categorically virgin (parthenos).

c. Immanuel: This title of Jesus refers to both His deity (God with us) and His identification and nearness to man (God with us).

i. Jesus is truly Immanuel, God with us. “Christ, indeed, was not called by this name Immanuel that we anywhere read of…but the import of this name is most truly affirmed and acknowledged to be fully made good in him.” (Trapp, on Isaiah 7:14)

ii. “In what sense then, is Christ God with us? Jesus is called Immanuel, or God with us, in his incarnation; God with us, by the influences of his Holy Spirit, in the holy sacrament, in the preaching of his word, in private prayer. And God with us, through every action of our life, that we begin, continue, and end in his name. He is God with us, to comfort, enlighten, protect, and defend us, in every time of temptation and trial, in the hour of death, in the day of judgment; and God with us and in us, and we with and in him, to all eternity.” (Clarke)

iii. We can deeply meditate on the meaning of this name – Immanuel.

· It shows how low God bent down to save man; He added the nature of one of His own creatures to His own divine nature, accepting the weaknesses, frailties and dependency that the creature experiences.· It shows what a great miracle it was that God could add a human nature to His own and still remain God.· It shows the compatibility between the unfallen human nature and the divine nature; that the two could be joined shows that we are truly made in the image of God.· It shows that we can come to Him; if He has come to us, then we can come to Him. “Then, if Jesus Christ be ‘God with us,’ let us come to God without any question or hesitancy. Whoever you may be you need no priest or intercessor to introduce you to God, for God has introduced himself to you.” (Spurgeon)
iv. “John Wesley died with that upon his tongue, and let us live with it upon our hearts. – ‘The best of all is God with us.'” (Spurgeon)



I hope all was made clear. If not, do let me know.

Wow, Acts!

Thank you, most kindly.

Um. I suppose I MIGHT have something I’ll like to ask in response. But I’ve only read through your amazing explanation a coupled of times and it definitely demands a good deal of serious rumination.

Did I mention, thank you?

;)
 
Member
Wow, Acts!

Thank you, most kindly.

Um. I suppose I MIGHT have something I’ll like to ask in response. But I’ve only read through your amazing explanation a coupled of times and it definitely demands a good deal of serious rumination.

Did I mention, thank you?

;)

I appreciate this and I appreciate your honesty and serious inquiring. It is quite refreshing. I will do my upmost best to provide you with the information you request. Whatever decisions made here afterwords will be respected. You are very much appreciated.
 
Member
I appreciate this and I appreciate your honesty and serious inquiring. It is quite refreshing. I will do my upmost best to provide you with the information you request. Whatever decisions made here afterwords will be respected. You are very much appreciated.
High praise. Thank you, again.
 
Active
High praise. Thank you, again.

Hi Kirby! It seems to me that there is an issue for you based on a simple misunderstanding. First that you do not note the difference between inferences that describe (as opposed to a proper name) and also that you do not see the difference between a title and a name. I can say Tom Brady...or six time Superbowl winner...or quarter back for the Patriots and in all cases referring to the same being. So that is one and perhaps it is related to the second issue which is when ancient Hebrews (whose conceptualization and thinking was different than modern Greek influenced western thinkers conceptualization) use the term "name" or the phrase "in the name of" they are not necessarily referring to the specific utterance of a proper name (like Bob or Ieesha or Kirby) the are referring to one's "shem" which more often refers to one's character, presence, or authority. So I hope I can explain a lot of this in the limitations of this space.

El or elohim are titles that generically describe a whole plethora of beings. In ancient Mesopotamia there were many elohim (some such as judges, kings, prophets, etc.were humans) and the being that spoke and appeared unto Abraham was "the most high" El, the Mightiest of the El's (the King or creator of all the elohim who later revealed His personal SHEM to Moses (though possibly to others elsewhere before him).

The term Yah'hoveh which is translated Yahweh or Jehovah is NOT his Kirby name it is a statement of which being or who this one is. Yah being the correct pronounciation of the first syllable of His Kirby name (translated LORD) and hoveh meaning "who is" thus Yah'hoveh = The Lord who is" hence the I AM. Immanu-El is the same...it is a reference to when the Lord is manifest physically among us (not a Kirby name).

The ancient Rabbis (a tradition and understanding from before Jesus was born) referenced a being called the Memra (or Word) that was a reference to whenever the Lord (YHVH) was manifest (in many forms even a man) and we can learn of this in the Targums Jonathan (1st century) and Onkelos (2nd century). This Memra being was not only sent from or with YHVH but actually IS YHVH (hence John 1:1). So for example in Exodus 3 we read that The Angel of the LORD speaks to Moses from within the bush and then later this being identifies Himself as the I Am (literally the He who is) and the God of his fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). Bot how can He be this Angel and also YHVH? Because He is the Word of YHVH (YHVH manifest) who had been coming forth since time immemorial in different forms.

Now moving on (though I wish I could share with you much more on this), the closest we can get to understanding "shem" (translated name) is if someone were to come forth making a declaration "in thew name of the King"...that declaration is like unto the Kings real presence and the one declaring it is as the King himself. His/her authority is as that of the King, and he or she has the right and power to carry out the will of the King to the full extent of the declared statements pronounced "in his name". Hence when the Apostles spoke of "the name of Jesus" they were not referring to uttering that combination of gutteral sounds and when we are commanded to go forth "in His name" or act "in His name" or pray "in His name" it is that we do this in THIS sense...in His presence, by His authority (not by the repetition of some magical phrase).

The Hebrew word for salvation is transliterated "yeshuah" and in many places we are told "The Lord shall become" or "has become" my yeshuah. Jesus name is actually a contraction of the Kirby name YAH and inference to this yeshuah hence Yah'shuah would be the correct understanding of the shem (name) meaning the Lord's salvation or the the salvation of the Lord. Now though only morons question the historicity of the person Jesus that the stories are written about but it is totally fair and legitimate for people (skeptics and even some scholars) to argue whether or not Jesus is Messiah or the Lord incarnate, etc.

So in ancient Israel and later in Judaism one's shem was very important and the shem of the Lord was invocative and powerful and taken very seriously. Thus if this Jesus was Yah's salvation it would mean He also was or had within his Human form YHVH himself (the fullness of the Deity bodily).and this would mean God was tabernacling among men and that THE God was with us (hence Immanu-El)....
 
Member
Hi Kirby! It seems to me that there is an issue for you based on a simple misunderstanding. First that you do not note the difference between inferences that describe (as opposed to a proper name) and also that you do not see the difference between a title and a name. I can say Tom Brady...or six time Superbowl winner...or quarter back for the Patriots and in all cases referring to the same being. So that is one and perhaps it is related to the second issue which is when ancient Hebrews (whose conceptualization and thinking was different than modern Greek influenced western thinkers conceptualization) use the term "name" or the phrase "in the name of" they are not necessarily referring to the specific utterance of a proper name (like Bob or Ieesha or Kirby) the are referring to one's "shem" which more often refers to one's character, presence, or authority. So I hope I can explain a lot of this in the limitations of this space.

El or elohim are titles that generically describe a whole plethora of beings. In ancient Mesopotamia there were many elohim (some such as judges, kings, prophets, etc.were humans) and the being that spoke and appeared unto Abraham was "the most high" El, the Mightiest of the El's (the King or creator of all the elohim who later revealed His personal SHEM to Moses (though possibly to others elsewhere before him).

The term Yah'hoveh which is translated Yahweh or Jehovah is NOT his Kirby name it is a statement of which being or who this one is. Yah being the correct pronounciation of the first syllable of His Kirby name (translated LORD) and hoveh meaning "who is" thus Yah'hoveh = The Lord who is" hence the I AM. Immanu-El is the same...it is a reference to when the Lord is manifest physically among us (not a Kirby name).

The ancient Rabbis (a tradition and understanding from before Jesus was born) referenced a being called the Memra (or Word) that was a reference to whenever the Lord (YHVH) was manifest (in many forms even a man) and we can learn of this in the Targums Jonathan (1st century) and Onkelos (2nd century). This Memra being was not only sent from or with YHVH but actually IS YHVH (hence John 1:1). So for example in Exodus 3 we read that The Angel of the LORD speaks to Moses from within the bush and then later this being identifies Himself as the I Am (literally the He who is) and the God of his fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). Bot how can He be this Angel and also YHVH? Because He is the Word of YHVH (YHVH manifest) who had been coming forth since time immemorial in different forms.

Now moving on (though I wish I could share with you much more on this), the closest we can get to understanding "shem" (translated name) is if someone were to come forth making a declaration "in thew name of the King"...that declaration is like unto the Kings real presence and the one declaring it is as the King himself. His/her authority is as that of the King, and he or she has the right and power to carry out the will of the King to the full extent of the declared statements pronounced "in his name". Hence when the Apostles spoke of "the name of Jesus" they were not referring to uttering that combination of gutteral sounds and when we are commanded to go forth "in His name" or act "in His name" or pray "in His name" it is that we do this in THIS sense...in His presence, by His authority (not by the repetition of some magical phrase).

The Hebrew word for salvation is transliterated "yeshuah" and in many places we are told "The Lord shall become" or "has become" my yeshuah. Jesus name is actually a contraction of the Kirby name YAH and inference to this yeshuah hence Yah'shuah would be the correct understanding of the shem (name) meaning the Lord's salvation or the the salvation of the Lord. Now though only morons question the historicity of the person Jesus that the stories are written about but it is totally fair and legitimate for people (skeptics and even some scholars) to argue whether or not Jesus is Messiah or the Lord incarnate, etc.

So in ancient Israel and later in Judaism one's shem was very important and the shem of the Lord was invocative and powerful and taken very seriously. Thus if this Jesus was Yah's salvation it would mean He also was or had within his Human form YHVH himself (the fullness of the Deity bodily).and this would mean God was tabernacling among men and that THE God was with us (hence Immanu-El)....

All beautifully put. Thank you.

As a note of passing interest, there is a school of thought in Jewish mysticism that the tetragrammaton (YHVH) only coincidentally (or additionally) represents words meaning “he [the lord] that is.” That the letters aren’t JUST a formulation of God’s proper name, but an acronym or initialization of it, and the full name can be derived from a combination of the first letters of every word in the OT, and that to utter it causes “instant” death (no doubt an hours-long process).

I don’t think I’m missing some point of distinction between “Immanuel” and “Jesus,” so much as I am interested in the importance of it, if any. And this discussion as led me streets and streets ahead of where I was on the matter just a few days ago.

I love the diverse significance of “names,” both proper and honorific, as they relate to a being’s IDENTITY, the perception of which, itself, is affected by context. Was Adam’s conversational name really Adam? Depending on context and punctuation in the ancient Hebrew, “Adam” can be the character in Genesis, any generic man, mankind en toto, or (human) blood. And, as you describe no well, there is SIGNIFICANCE to these varied uses and the interactions among them.

I am amused when skeptics (like me) point out the obviously symbolic merit of these things as if it’s evidence that biblical lore is “only” myth. Example: Was there a criminal at Calvary NAMED Barabbas who was spared? The name is patently symbolic, “bar abba” being Hebrew for “son of [the/a] father.” So, symbolically speaking, you had one “true” or “sacred” son of God and one “false” or profane one at the Crucifixion. It is dramatically ironic, great storytelling: the criminal spared and the innocent murdered. But it’s also a beautiful, deliberate and portentous echo of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, which, in the time of the Temple, entailed securing two pure white goats, as identical with each other as possible. Upon the flanks of one was scrawled the names of all the community’s sins for that year. This profane (e)scapegoat was driven into the wilderness, along with the sin it symbolically carried, and the pure goat was sacrificed to God in the tabernacle. It would have been unthinkable, the highest form of sacrilege, to sacrifice the goat carrying the taint of the sins of the people.

You very likely know all this already. But my point is, there is no getting around the clear symbolism here: Jesus represents the best (and last) new covenant between God and Man, the final word in how to expunge sin and secure salvation. Viewed this way, it would have completely undercut the whole point of the Crucifixion had Jesus been spared and Barabbas killed.



So the irreverent think this means the Bible is a fairy tale. I’m not saying it isn’t. But the contriving of a real criminal whose name was actually Barabbas to be spared at the same time and place as the Crucifixion would have been a trivial effort to the Creator of the Universe.

Please forgive me cleaving to my moron ways, but as time goes on I am less and less convinced of the historicity of a personal Jesus, the factuality of which I once took for granted. My idiocy extends so far as to think this in no way bears upon the reality of God’s grace and of the path to salvation through the acceptance of Christ.

If there is a God, he makes the rules. Does it matter if there was a “real” Barabbas at the Crucifixion? I don’t think it must. Was there an actual, flesh and blood Jesus who went by that name on that day in Jerusalem and was he tortured and executed? Certainly it “matters” whether or not it happened. But, anyone who believes in the true omnipotence of God must admit he may have been able to evoke both the Old and the New Testament out of whole cloth, and STILL stipulate salvation depends upon acceptance of Christ. Indeed, God can “create” a post-hoc history of Jesus’s ministry and sacrifice, which never transpired in physical reality, but which is “real” in every meaningful sense of the word.



So I am unconvinced in the historicity of Jesus. I think he is not nearly as well attested in the available documentation as other historical figures like Caesar and Alexander, though I’m convinced his existence in history is borne out much more convincingly than other legends such as the Flood and the Exodus.

Which brings me, at last, to a question that actually extends beyond my original interest in this thread. There is not a single shred of documentary or forensic evidence for the historical reality of the biblical account of the Exodus. It’s implausible that any large group of people would have wandered in the Sinai for as long as several years. It’s a ten-day hike from Goshen to Jerusalem. And it’s the easiest trip in antiquity: Wait for sunrise. Facing the morning sun, turn left and march. When your feet get wet, turn right and keep going ‘til you get there. Yes, I know God had purpose in the Hebrews tarrying in the desert. To wit, until the extinction of all who were born into slavery so only freedmen would enter God’s land. Most estimates I’ve seen put the population of emancipated Hebrews who began the Exodus around 2,000,000. That puts biblical archaeologists on the hook not just for finding 40-years-worth of campfire hearths, refuse middens and latrines, but a 2 million-strong necropolis. That’s an order of magnitude akin to Calvary Cemetery in Queens, NY (3 million interments). Not easily overlooked.

So, stipulating the Exodus never happened, or, at least, in no way resembling the account in the Tanakh (which, I am now of the opinion, is an allegorical articulation of the real Babylonian exile), does that in any way affect the truth of the Crucifixion? I would say, “Not necessarily.” But then, if that is so, I would also argue, neither does the literal historicity of either Jesus or the Crucifixion.

Sorry if you find the foregoing at all offensive. I do not intend it as such.
 
Loyal
What's in a name that is so important? Everything when it comes to the salvation of man!

Act 4:11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.
Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
 
Member
but as time goes on I am less and less convinced of the historicity of a personal Jesus, the factuality of which I once took for granted

What if ancient historians wrote about him as a factual person? Would you accept it then?

Flavius Josephus (historian in his books Jewish Antiquities book 18 and 20 mentioned) is quoted as saying:
Being therefore this kind of person [i.e., a heartless Sadducee], Ananus, thinking that he had a favorable opportunity because Festus had died and Albinus was still on his way, called a meeting [literally, “sanhedrin”] of judges and brought into it the brother of Jesus-who-is-called-Messiah … James by name, and some others. He made the accusation that they had transgressed the law, and he handed them over to be stoned.13

Around this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.21 For he was one who did surprising deeds, and a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who in the first place came to love him did not give up their affection for him, for on the third day, he appeared to them restored to life. The prophets of God had prophesied this and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, have still to this day not died out.22

A Roman senator by the name of Cornelius Tacitus states:

“[N]either human effort nor the emperor’s generosity nor the placating of the gods ended the scandalous belief that the fire had been ordered [by Nero]. Therefore, to put down the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits and punished in the most unusual ways those hated for their shameful acts … whom the crowd called “Christians.” The founder of this name, Christ [Christus in Latin], had been executed in the reign of Tiberius by the procurator Pontius Pilate … Suppressed for a time, the deadly superstition erupted again not only in Judea, the origin of this evil, but also in the city [Rome], where all things horrible and shameful from everywhere come together and become popular.”


Two secular writers, who disagreed with Christianity both mention Jesus as an actual person that lived.
 
Loyal
For me, the most compelling evidence that Jesus was an historical person is in the growth of the church and the new testament writings. Something dramatic must have happened to cause such a major social change.

We have characters such as Jesus' brother mentioned in the Book of Acts. He was evidently still alive as it was written. Surely if it was a fabrication, it would have been easily exposed as such at the time.

Did the gospel writers use poetic license with such accounts as Barabbas being freed at Jesus's expense? Maybe. I'm inclined to take it at face value, but it's not a hill I'd die on. Did Jesus die and rise again? I'm convinced he did. And I've staked my life on it.

As for the Exodus, I don't know enough about archeology to know what to expect to find from a mass of people in the desert for 40 years 3000 years ago.
 
Member
It

It seems to me that "AD 2020" has most if not all of the world convinced that Jesus's death actually happened!

It

It seems to me that "AD 2020" has most if not all of the world convinced that Jesus's death actually happened!


If every person on Earth believed disease comes from evil spirits, based on the available evidence, I'd still subscribe to germ theory.
 
Member

Wnl

Hi Kirby,
Just a thought, in 2000yrs would you Kirby be remembered NO
So ask yourself why is Jesus remembered (big subject)
The Moslems believe in Jesus, His name is in their book
twenty five times

To keep it simple Jesus stopped and started time
You must admit Kirby He must and was some mighty man
The Son of God in fact.
So every time you check the time think Jesus.
If you deny time, you deny Jesus.
With Love, Wnl
 
Loyal
If every person on Earth believed disease comes from evil spirits, based on the available evidence, I'd still subscribe to germ theory.
Germs have been around since the beginning of creation and it had no ill effect on humans. Not until the fall of man did things change that was good became harmful to man, even the ground where our food came from had a curse upon it. There was no sickness or disease or death until after "sin" came into the world. As the scripture says....

Joh 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Joh 5:13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
Joh 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

It makes no difference if anyone does not believe that wicked spirits can, and do cause sickness, germs that are not good to the human body are used to cause sickness.

Sin is always the "root" of all sickness even though someone might not have sinned to cause it in their life yet it is its cause.
 
Loyal
If every person on Earth believed disease comes from evil spirits, based on the available evidence, I'd still subscribe to germ theory.
That would be the same kind of thinking as saying "Based on the available evidence that a "gun" killed someone I still subscribe to the theory it was the "bullet" that killed."
 
Member
What if ancient historians wrote about him as a factual person? Would you accept it then?

Flavius Josephus (historian in his books Jewish Antiquities book 18 and 20 mentioned) is quoted as saying:


Around this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.21 For he was one who did surprising deeds, and a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who in the first place came to love him did not give up their affection for him, for on the third day, he appeared to them restored to life. The prophets of God had prophesied this and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, have still to this day not died out.22

A Roman senator by the name of Cornelius Tacitus states:

“[N]either human effort nor the emperor’s generosity nor the placating of the gods ended the scandalous belief that the fire had been ordered [by Nero]. Therefore, to put down the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits and punished in the most unusual ways those hated for their shameful acts … whom the crowd called “Christians.” The founder of this name, Christ [Christus in Latin], had been executed in the reign of Tiberius by the procurator Pontius Pilate … Suppressed for a time, the deadly superstition erupted again not only in Judea, the origin of this evil, but also in the city [Rome], where all things horrible and shameful from everywhere come together and become popular.”


Two secular writers, who disagreed with Christianity both mention Jesus as an actual person that lived.

I am well acquainted with Josephus, but also analysis that refute its credibility. I doubt you would not find such analysis at all convincing. But, if you would like me to present it, I can.

Tacitus isn’t describing Christ. He is describing Christians. He himself may have been convinced in the reality of a historical Jesus. But, forgive me (honestly), I consider that only as compelling as your own conviction. Which is certainly more than “not at all,” but it’s not nearly so definitive as, say, the presence of Napoleon in Napoleon’s tomb.
 
Member
For me, the most compelling evidence that Jesus was an historical person is in the growth of the church and the new testament writings. Something dramatic must have happened to cause such a major social change.

We have characters such as Jesus' brother mentioned in the Book of Acts. He was evidently still alive as it was written. Surely if it was a fabrication, it would have been easily exposed as such at the time.

Did the gospel writers use poetic license with such accounts as Barabbas being freed at Jesus's expense? Maybe. I'm inclined to take it at face value, but it's not a hill I'd die on. Did Jesus die and rise again? I'm convinced he did. And I've staked my life on it.

As for the Exodus, I don't know enough about archeology to know what to expect to find from a mass of people in the desert for 40 years 3000 years ago.

Yes. One way or another, something indeed significant occurred at the inception of Christianity. I have no reason to believe Jesus did NOT walk the earth. I have simply come to the opinion my reasons FOR considering it as factual not as compelling as I once thought. The accounts of his ministry and, hence, his teachings are genuine. But there is no logical necessity that the real accounts are accounts of something that really happened. The virtues of sermon on the mount are manifest. To me, the way their sermonizer spelled his name, or whether there was an actual "mount" involved is not terribly important.
 
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