Friday, September 2, 2011

Book of Isaiah 7-9 ...shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7-9

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

9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

I'm guessing that several passages in this section will make my Christian readers jump up and down and yell at me "See this?  This is prophesy that predicts the birth of Jesus!!!!  Told you so!!!"

Well, go ahead.

But aside from the inconsistency of the name, Emmanuel (which happens again in the Gospel of Matthew), the prophesy is fairly general and isn't it more likely that the story of Jesus was rooted in these passages as a way to tie him into the Old Testament?

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  1. @Bruce

    I agree. There's also the whole "almah" = young woman / "betulah" = virgin translation issue. From what I've read this passage uses "almah".

    Isaiah 7:14 works best as a stand alone sort of thing. Reading it in context causes it to REALLY fall apart.

    No sale here either.

  2. @David,

    How does it fall apart? And thanks for the almah/behulah mention. I did some reading on it. Very interesting. However the KJV translators got it right here and in a few other passages as well. :-)

    @Bruce i'm surprised that you made no mention of Isaiah 9:6,7. That got me to "jump up and down" as well. ;-)

    the prophesy is fairly general
    How so? How many virgins you know have kids? Actually with today's medical tech this is really possible.

    isn't it more likely that the story of Jesus was rooted in these passages as a way to tie him into the Old Testament?

    If the passage was only read by us, then yes i could agree with you there. Seeing that Mary is not around for us to question. However when Matthew and the other gospels were written, she was still around, and so were Jesus brothers and sisters. The people of that time could go ask about these things. Also there is more than this one passage in the OT that confirms Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the promised Messiah.

  3. @Edward,
    I did mention 9:6!!! You were jumping around so much you missed it! ;-)

    Variations of the miraculous birth have been used as a vehicle for delivering gods to earth long before and after the Jesus story. Look up Krishna, Horus, Perseus, etc.

    The authors of the gospels were familiar with the writings of the OT so they could have said "Hey look at this passage in Isaiah. We think Jesus is the Prince of Peace! This must be about him!!!"

    Except his name wasn't Emmanuel (or Jesus for that matter).

  4. Bruce, I would say, keep the jury out on the Isaiah passages, especially the servant songs later in the book. There are many passages in this book predicting a Meshiach -> Messiah -> Anointed One -> King, and I the argument can be made in the Hebrew that his name is called "God with us" rather than a proper name Emmanuel. Em -> with; anu -> us; El -> God.

    And I'm not sure about the "his name isn't Jesus" statement, since Yeshua in Hebrew is Iesus in Greek, and with the German harding of the beginning Iota, it turned into a J, which is where our English (a Germanic language) makes it Jesus. That's like saying John's name isn't technically John either, it's Ioanen. Neither Greek nor Hebrew has a letter J, but it is coming from an letter Iota in Greek, which is used for the letter Yod in Hebrew

  5. @Bruce,

    Yes you are right, my blind eyes. :-D HEE!HEE!

    Variations of the miraculous birth have been used as a vehicle for delivering gods to earth long before and after the Jesus story.

    Yes after Christ birth others used this, i have read that much, and i also remember reading that before Christ was born this was not true. Some have made the claim that some "gods" did this, however it was researched and found to be false. (I need to go find that book.) :-)

    Except his name wasn't Emmanuel (or Jesus for that matter).

    What was the son of God's name then? Let me guess Joseph or YAHSHUA? Your not a part of the Sacred Name Movement are you? :-) And how do you spell that name in Greek? Seeing that the NT was written in "Koine" Greek. I have read this "His name in Greek is IhsouV. This name transliterated into English is Iesous - thus Jesus." I don't know if you also have heard the lie that Jesus name is derived from Zeus or some other pagan deity?

    I am off to find a book now.

  6. Also want to point out chapter 9 verses 2-4 is a prophesy that's fulfilment is recorded in Matthew 4:12-17.

    And there are translations that remove the "not" from 9:3. From my short study KJV got it right. ;-)

  7. The stories of Krishna and Horus and their virgin births are actually older than that of Jesus, and those are only two of the given examples. Many gods and saviors were prophesied and told about long before the stories of Jesus were beginning to be told. There is nothing unique or original about Jesus' birth or the miracles he is credited to have performed. In point of fact, its much more likely that the stories surrounding him were sampled from previous savior deities, especially that of Horus and to some extent Zeus and Heracles.

  8. @Confused,
    I agree that there were earlier virgin birth stories. I disagree that there was nothing unique about Christ's life. The Gospels do relate unique circumstances and events that aren't paralleled in other stories, and the religious context in light of the Hebrew Bible makes it very unique in world religions, particularly among those of the ancient Near East.

    Above all, though, I think you should rethink your logic. What's your basis for saying that "it's much more likely" that the stories were borrowed instead of accurate? Is there actual proof for that beyond a superficial similarity? Just because other religions had prophesied somewhat (though by no means identical) scenarios doesn't mean the early church copied and pasted their religious structure. I'm sure you see how unlikely that is. Instead, I think it's a judgment that has no real basis. For one thing, it's highly unlikely that a group like the apostles, being religious Jews, would borrow from pagan religious tradition and try to pass it off as fully compliant with Judaism.