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the Lamb of God

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  • Brendan Gerard
    Dear Colleagues Some scholars favour the view that if John the Baptist, in history, called Jesus the lamb of God, he is most likely to have meant the
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 31, 2013
      Dear Colleagues



      Some scholars favour the view that if John the Baptist, in history,
      called Jesus "the lamb of God," he is most likely to have meant the
      apocalyptic lamb.



      How good is the evidence that there was a lamb in Jewish apocalyptic
      literature before the NT book of Revelation?




      Regards




      Brendan Gerard

      --
      Revd Brendan Gerard M.A., S.S.L.
      Kapellenweg 5
      D-88145 Opfenbach
      Tel + 49 8385 1625
      Mob. + 49 151 54952896

      <http://thingsinmotion.bgacademic.com>


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • DAVID RITSEMA
      I argued that the Lamb of God was an apocalyptic lamb in Jewish literature before the NT in my dissertation. David Ritsema, PhD Resident Fellow and Professor
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 31, 2013
        I argued that the "Lamb of God" was an apocalyptic lamb in Jewish literature before the NT in my dissertation.

        David Ritsema, PhD
        Resident Fellow and Professor of NT
        B. H. Carroll Theological Institute

        --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Brendan Gerard" <bg@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Colleagues
        >
        >
        >
        > Some scholars favour the view that if John the Baptist, in history,
        > called Jesus "the lamb of God," he is most likely to have meant the
        > apocalyptic lamb.
        >
        >
        >
        > How good is the evidence that there was a lamb in Jewish apocalyptic
        > literature before the NT book of Revelation?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Regards
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Brendan Gerard
        >
        > --
        > Revd Brendan Gerard M.A., S.S.L.
        > Kapellenweg 5
        > D-88145 Opfenbach
        > Tel + 49 8385 1625
        > Mob. + 49 151 54952896
        >
        > <http://thingsinmotion.bgacademic.com>
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Tom Butler
        Brendan and J-Lit. Colleagues,     I suggest that the term Lamb of God did not come from Jewish apocalyptic literature, nor did it come directly from the
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 31, 2013
          Brendan and J-Lit. Colleagues,

              I suggest that the term "Lamb of God" did not come from Jewish apocalyptic literature, nor did it come directly from the Hebrew or Greek Tanach.  

              I am writing a commentary on The Gospel According to John using the theory that it was written using the spiritual language of the Septuagint (metaphors which I have called Mosaic oracles, Septuagint oracles and signs and Johannine signs). 

               The phrase "Lamb of God" is a Johannine sign, meaning that it is a metaphor created by the authors of the Gospel (or by John the Baptist, whom the authors of the Gospel quote) to draw the attention of informed readers (rabbinic students being trained to become Christian Rabbis in the late first, early second centuries) to the role of the One called by John the Baptist "The after me One who comes" and "the Son of God" as a replacement for the male goat sacrificed to atone for sin.

              The words ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου "Look! (not 'Here is') The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (NRSV), are the words coined either by the authors of the Gospel or by John the Baptist to draw the attention of the intended readers (or John's own disciples) to the first Torah (LXX) passage concerned with atonement (Lev. 16 LXX).  In this case God directs Moses to provide Aaron with instructions about how to make atonement for the defilement of The Tabernacle of Witness caused when Aaron's two sons brought πῦρἀλλότριον "unauthorized fire" before the Lord.  They died there before God in the Tabernacle.  (See esp. Lev. 16: 15-16).

               If the intention of the authors (or of John) had been to borrow the Mosaic oracle (metaphor) in this passage from Leviticus directly, John might have said, "Look! The Goat of God who takes away the sins of the people (Israel) and of the Temple!"  While John's metaphor in Jn. 1:29 is a lamb, not a goat, Nu. 15:11 (LXX) suggests that both young sheep and young goats selected for sacrifice were called "lambs."  

               In Jn. 1:36 where John is quoted saying, ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ   Look!  The Lamb of God!"  This metaphor is not intended to guide the reader to the atonement passage, but to the first use of  "Look!"  in the Torah (LXX): Gn. 22:8. There
          Abraham answers his son, Isaac's question about the missing lamb for the whole offering by saying, "God will see to a sheep for a whole offering for Himself, child."  Gn. 22:13 indicates that the sacrifice provided by God in place of Isaac is a ram held in a bush by its horns.  (Do male lambs have horns?  I wonder if this passage shouldn't be translated "a ram held in a bush of horns, meaning a bush of thorns.  If so, think of the correlation in the Gospels with The Sacrifice being provided by God and held with a crown of thorns.)

               This second Johannine passage (Jn 1: 36) in which John uses the metaphor of a lamb is also intended to guide the reader to the first account of the Passover (Ex. 12: 2-6) where the Passover lamb is to be watched carefully by the entire family (or families) before the appointed time when the father must slay it.  This suggests that all members of the family became familiar with this one lamb.  Only after this relationship, this bond, has been formed is the lamb slaughtered. 

                 This metaphor (Johannine sign) "Lamb" guides the reader to both the annual ritual of Atonement and the annual ritual of the Passover.  Both are replaced by "the after me One who comes," "The Son of God," "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," "the Lamb of God," whom the authors of the Gospel call "Jesus Christ."

               In Rev. 13:11, which I suspect is at least part of your focus, Brendan, a beast is described as having "two horns like a lamb."  Again it would seem that this should be "two horns like a ram." If this is the passage that prompts you to seek a connection to apocalyptic verses or rabbinic texts, you may find value in Foerster, "κέρας" in the TDNT.  He considers passages from Daniel and some rabbinic sources from the 3d century A.D. where the horn, specifically a ten-horned beast is mentioned to describe its power.   Foerster comes to the conclusion that it is  "highly unlikely" that any of the passages or rabbinic sources he considershad a material connection with Rev. 13:11.  

          Tom Butler
             




          >________________________________
          > From: Brendan Gerard <bg@...>
          >To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
          >Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 5:51 AM
          >Subject: [John_Lit] the Lamb of God
          >
          >
          >

          >Dear Colleagues
          >
          >Some scholars favour the view that if John the Baptist, in history,
          >called Jesus "the lamb of God," he is most likely to have meant the
          >apocalyptic lamb.
          >
          >How good is the evidence that there was a lamb in Jewish apocalyptic
          >literature before the NT book of Revelation?
          >
          >Regards
          >
          >Brendan Gerard
          >
          >--
          >Revd Brendan Gerard M.A., S.S.L.
          >Kapellenweg 5
          >D-88145 Opfenbach
          >Tel + 49 8385 1625
          >Mob. + 49 151 54952896
          >
          ><http://thingsinmotion.bgacademic.com>
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Keith Yoder
          Tom- Thank you for your suggestion that the lamb of God announcements of the Baptist in Jn 1:29 and 1:36 are intended to guide the reader to atonement
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 3, 2013
            Tom-

            Thank you for your suggestion that the "lamb of God" announcements of the Baptist in Jn 1:29 and 1:36 are intended to "guide the reader" to atonement passages in Lev 16 and the offering of Isaac in Gen 22, respectively.

            I am a bit confused, however, by your comment that Gen 22:8 is the "first use of  'Look!'  in the Torah (LXX)". Both John 1:29 and 1:36 use the verb/interjection token i)/de (ἴδε), whereas the LXX of Gen 22:7 and 22:13 (as well as verses 1, 11, and 20) uses the interjection token i)dou\ (ἰδοὺ).  

            But whether we consider ide or idou, Gen 22:8 is not the "first" use of either form, as ide is used previously in Gen 13:14, and idou is used 29 times previously from Gen 1:29 through 20:16.

            I'm just questioning that Gen 22:8 is the "first" such usage.


            Keith Yoder

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          • Tom Butler
            Keith,     I stand corrected.  Jn. 1:29 and 1:36 both use ἴδε according to the source I am using (The Gk. N.T., 4th Rev. Ed.), and the first use
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 3, 2013
              Keith,
                  I stand corrected.  Jn. 1:29 and 1:36 both use ἴδε according to the source I am using (The Gk. N.T., 4th Rev. Ed.), and the first use of ἴδε in the Torah (LXX) is in Gn. 13:14, not in Gn. 22:8..  Apparently in my haste to compose my contribution to the discussion on the J-Lit list I glanced at the wrong sheet of notes.  Thank you for the correction.

              Tom Butler




              >________________________________
              > From: Keith Yoder <keith_yoder@...>
              >To: "johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com" <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
              >Sent: Saturday, August 3, 2013 6:59 AM
              >Subject: Re: [John_Lit] the Lamb of God
              >
              >
              >

              >Tom-
              >
              >Thank you for your suggestion that the "lamb of God" announcements of the Baptist in Jn 1:29 and 1:36 are intended to "guide the reader" to atonement passages in Lev 16 and the offering of Isaac in Gen 22, respectively.
              >
              >I am a bit confused, however, by your comment that Gen 22:8 is the "first use of  'Look!'  in the Torah (LXX)". Both John 1:29 and 1:36 use the verb/interjection token i)/de (ἴδε), whereas the LXX of Gen 22:7 and 22:13 (as well as verses 1, 11, and 20) uses the interjection token i)dou\ (ἰδοὺ).  
              >
              >But whether we consider ide or idou, Gen 22:8 is not the "first" use of either form, as ide is used previously in Gen 13:14, and idou is used 29 times previously from Gen 1:29 through 20:16.
              >
              >I'm just questioning that Gen 22:8 is the "first" such usage.
              >
              >Keith Yoder
              >
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