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595Re: [SORForum] Jesus is a Jew

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  • Edward Moore
    May 1, 2004

      > God the Son became man, He became a Jewish man. His
      > Person is God the Son but he has a human nature- male
      > and Jewish Semitic Caucasian .

      This statement is theologically unsound. The Orthodox Church Fathers
      unanimously hold that Christ was a single person (hupostasis) possessing two
      natures, divine and human. His human nature was not the specific,
      individual nature of a single man; rather, as God-man, the New Adam, Christ
      united the totality of human nature with divinity in His single hupostasis.
      You are, of course, correct that the God-man existed in the 'person'
      (prosopon) of a Jewish man at a particular time in history, but as St.
      Athanasius affirms (in his De incarnatione), He never stopped functioning as
      the Logos holding the universe together by the power of His divine will. We
      know from the New Testament that Christ unites all of humanity in His
      person, so that we are no longer able to make distinctions between Jew and
      Greek (Gentile), male and female, slave and free, etc. Further, as the
      Epistle to the Hebrews tells us, Christ is eternally the same. He never
      actually became a Jewish man; He simply assumed the role of one for the
      purpose of establishing the Kingdom of God and the New Coveneant in a manner
      that transcends ethnic division. This He could not have accomplished, I
      posit, if He did not possess the totality of human nature -- including Jews
      but all other races as well -- in His person.

      Perhaps we will understand each other better if we invoke the ancient
      Sophistic distinction between nature (phusis) and convention (nomos). Can
      we agree that Christ was a Jew by covnention, but not by nature?

      > The first Gospel to be written was Mathew which was
      > written in Aranmaic Syrian as it was addressed to
      > Aramaic speaking Syrian and Jewish Christians.

      This is incorrect. The first Gospel to be written was Mark, and the
      language of composition was Greek. I know of no archaeological or
      manuscript evidence supporting the theory that the Gospels were originally
      composed in Aramaic, or any other language but Greek. Cf. Paul N. Tarazi,
      _The New Testament: Introduction_, vol. 1, Paul and Mark (Crestwood, NY: St.
      Vladimir's Seminary Press 1999). On the original language of the Gospels
      consult the various studies by Jaroslav Pelikan, for example.

      That said, as an editor of the Orthodox journal _Theandros_, I invite you,
      Steve, or anyone interested to submit an article arguing in favor of a
      theory of original Aramaic composition. Please see the link in my signature
      for information on submitting, should you be so inclined.

      In Christ,


      Edward Moore, S.T.L., Ph.D. (candidate)
      St. Elias School of Orthodox Theology
      E-mail: emoore@...
      Homepage: www.theandros.com/emoore

      Theandros: An Online Journal of
      Orthodox Christian Theology and
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