Did jesus study scripture

Did jesus study scripture DEFAULT

"And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" (John )

In the midst of the annual feast of tabernacles, "Jesus went up into the temple, and taught" (John ), and the unique caliber of His teaching (literally "indoctrinating") caused the Jewish scholars there to "marvel."

Their question on this occasion was how an uneducated man, who had never been taught by the scribes and rabbis, could have acquired such a remarkable understanding of the Holy Scriptures. He had never had formal training in the Word; yet, when He taught, "He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Matthew ).

His answer to their question was amazing: "My doctrine |or 'teaching'| is not mine, but his that sent me" (John ).

There are two factors at work here. First of all, His working knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures was encyclopedic, acquired in the same way any other student of the Word can acquire it--by diligent and prayerful personal study thereof. He had done this all His life from the time He was a small boy. Remember how He had "asked questions" of the astonished doctors in the temple, and then how He was "subject unto" His parents, and how He "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (Luke , ). In all of this, He is a perfect human example to us, as we also seek to learn the Scriptures and to grow in wisdom and in favor with God.

But beyond His human understanding of the Word, of course, was His own innate divine wisdom and authority. He was eternal God, as well as perfect man. Thus He not only has authenticated the former Scriptures and given us an example in their study and use, but has also conveyed perfectly to us, through His holy apostles and prophets, the Scriptures of the New Covenant as well. HMM

Sours: https://www.icr.org/article/jesus-study-scripture

How Well Did Jesus Know His Bible?

Michael Satlow

Imagine Jesus as a boy. Growing up with his brothers and sisters in a Jewish home in the sleepy town of Nazareth, in lower Galilee, he almost certainly would have been circumcised, followed Jewish dietary rules (kashrut), and observed the Jewish Sabbath and festivals. He would have grown up speaking Aramaic and might have learned a trade from his father. He would have been sent to a Jewish school where he learned to read Jewish Scripture, which he also heard recited in synagogues. Or maybe not.

Most scholars have long believed that Jesus knew Jewish Scripture well. It is not an unreasonable belief. The Gospels—especially the so-called “synoptic” Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke—frequently depict Jesus citing Scripture to his followers in order to teach them moral lessons and to stoke eschatological expectations. Additionally, it is widely thought that almost all Jewish boys in Palestine were well acquainted with Scripture. If they were, wouldn’t Jesus be as well? And wouldn’t he have had to have received training to learn both Hebrew and how to read?

Both of these arguments, though, are shaky. The Gospels, written at least several decades after Jesus’ death by people who did not know him, are notoriously poor historical sources. Recent scholarship has also moved away from assuming widespread literacy among Jews in antiquity. Most probably neither knew Hebrew nor how to read. If they knew Scripture at all, it would have been through popular stories; the teaching of an itinerant preacher; maybe an Aramaic translation of an ad hoc reading in a synagogue, if synagogues were even present at this time in Galilee—we have no evidence that they were.

So let us imagine instead a scripturally-challenged Jesus. He might have picked up bits and pieces of Scripture, which he may occasionally preached on—something along the lines of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew ), which even if true shows only low level familiarity with the Ten Commandments. For such a Jesus—like the one depicted in the Gospel of John or in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas—Scripture was not only almost unknown but also largely irrelevant.

Instead of Scripture, what Jesus knew, and fought about, were traditional Jewish customs and stories. He did not need to turn to Scripture to know these. He knew the dietary rules and Sabbath observance because that is how he was raised. His fights with the Pharisees were not about how to interpret Scripture but about proper Jewish customary practice. Even to the extent that he was seen or saw himself as a messianic figure, such a view was not molded by deep familiarity with Scripture, but by societal expectations. John the Baptist was, after all, but one of many messianic figures roaming the Palestinian country-side at the turn of the era.

Yet this is not quite the Jesus that the canonical Gospels present, and that is largely due to a fundamental debate that shook early Christian circles: to what extent should Christians consider themselves to be the heirs of the promise of Jewish Scripture? We know, of course, who won this debate—Christians followed Paul in assigning authority to Jewish Scripture, soon to be called the “Old Testament.” For many years, however, this outcome was far from certain. Out of many possible depictions of Jesus, the Gospels that depicted a Scripture-citing Jesus were selected for the canon to conform to the winning idea. The others were shunted aside.

In many respects, Jesus was typical for a Jew of his social standing, time, and place. Like the vast majority of his community, he assumed that it was tradition—actual communal practice—rather than a text that bore religious authority. In creating a Scripture-citing Jesus, though, the Gospels’ authors shifted that focus, ultimately raising for Christians the importance and authority of the Jewish Bible. Within the Christian and Western context, this was the seed of the idea of the primacy of all text, not just that of the Bible—a seed that would fully blossom during the Reformation and whose fruit very much remains with us today.

Michael L. Satlow is professor of religious studies and Judaic studies at Brown University.

Further Reading:

How the Bible Became Holy Cover












Featured Image: Heilige Familie (Haus Nazareth) via Bauernhofmuseum Amerang

Sours: http://blog.yalebooks.com//05/11/how-well-did-jesus-know-his-bible/
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Don Stewart :: Did Jesus Believe the Scriptures Were Without Error?

Did Jesus Believe the Scriptures Were Without Error?

Answering Bible Difficulties – Question 32

It is important that we look at the way in which the Lord Jesus Christ regarded Scripture. Jesus not only claimed to be God the Son, He demonstrated that His claims were true. Consequently, He speaks with final authority on every issue. Therefore, we should seek to discover His attitude toward the Scripture.

What Jesus Taught about Scripture

When we examine the way Jesus viewed Scripture, we can see that He trusted it totally—believing it to be without error.

The following points need to be observed:

All Scripture Was Divinely Inspired

Jesus believed that the Scripture, in its entirety, is God-breathed. When confronted with the temptation of the devil He said the following:

It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew ESV)

Jesus believed in the full authority of Scripture. Humans are to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God. All parts, and every word, were considered important to Jesus. In another place, He said:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish but to fulfill. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. (Matthew NET)

Jesus accepted the totality of Scripture as being divinely inspired of God. No exceptions.

The Old Testament Is Historically Accurate

Jesus spoke of the Old Testament in terms of actual history. He believed that the people mentioned actually existed and the events recorded truly occurred. These include: Adam and Eve (Matthew 19), Jonah and the great sea monster (Matthew 12), and Noah and the Flood (Matthew 24). There is not the slightest hint that Jesus cast doubt on any of the stories contained in the Old Testament.

The Bible Is a Unity

Jesus also testified the Scriptures were a unity—one unfolding complete story. On the day of His resurrection, we read about what Jesus said to two of His disciples traveling with Him on the road to Emmaus:

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke TNIV)

Jesus said that the Scripture cannot be broken:

If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken). (John NASB)

Jesus said that the entire Old Testament witnesses to His Person and work. We read in Luke:

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures. (Luke NET)

To Jesus, the Old Testament was a unity; all of it needed to be examined.

Jesus Said the Scripture Must Be Fulfilled

Because the Bible is God’s divinely inspired Word, everything that it says must be fulfilled. Jesus said to those who arrested Him:

But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? (Matthew ESV)

It was absolutely necessary for the Scripture to be fulfilled.

He Said God’s Word Is True

Jesus said that God’s Word is also without error. John recorded Jesus praying the following to God the Father:

Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth. (John NET)

Jesus accepted the truthfulness of God’s Word.

The Scriptures Are Sufficient for Salvation

The truth of the Scripture is sufficient for the salvation of the people. In the story Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus, the Lord made it clear that the Scriptures contained sufficient information for a person to be saved:

And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke KJV)

The New English Translation translates it this way:

“He replied to him, ‘If they do not respond to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” (Luke NET)

According to Jesus, the Scripture provided enough information for a person to make a decision for or against Christ.

Jesus Appealed to Scripture to Defend His Actions

We find that Jesus appealed to Scripture to defend His actions. He said that His arrest was a fulfillment of Scripture:

At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. (Matthew NRSV)

When Jesus cleansed the temple, He appealed to Scripture to explain His actions. In Mark’s gospel we read:

Then they came to Jerusalem. Jesus entered the temple area and began to drive out those who were selling and buying in the temple courts. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the chairs of those selling doves, and he would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. Then he began to teach them and said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have turned it into a den of robbers!” (Mark NET)

From these passages, we can see that Jesus gave the Old Testament His full approval. It is clear from Jesus’ statements that He believed the Bible to be without error.

Therefore, it is clear that Jesus accepted the view that the Old Testament was without error. To Him, the Old Testament was authoritative, the God of the Old Testament was the living God, and the teaching contained in the Old Testament was the teaching of the living God. In other words, what the Scripture said, God said. This was Jesus’ view.

The Importance of Jesus’ Testimony

The testimony of Jesus is vital because the Bible pictures Him as acting for God the Father. Jesus exercises all the authority of God. God the Father validated Jesus as His own divine Son by the resurrection from the dead. Paul said:

While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts NRSV)

Paul also wrote to the church at Rome that Jesus was appointed to be the Son of God in power by His resurrection from the dead:

From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans NET)

Jesus said all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him. Matthew’s gospel closes with these words of Jesus:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Amen. (Matthew NKJV)

These facts make Jesus’ testimony absolutely crucial. Whatever He says is the final word.

Jesus and Truth: He Is the Standard of Truth

Jesus Christ declared that He is the Truth. In one of His most famous statements, Jesus declared Himself to be “the Truth.”

I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John KJV)

This claim meant far more than the fact that He was a truthful person. He declares Himself to be the Truth in the sense that He is standard of truth.

In the Book of Revelation, John called Him the faithful witness:

From John, to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace to you from “he who is,” and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ—the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood. (Revelation NET)

John also wrote in the Book of Revelation that Jesus is the “faithful and true witness.”

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation.” (Revelation NET)

Jesus said that He had come into the world to testify to the truth:

Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John NASB)

Jesus did not merely come to testify to the meaning of truth — He is Truth. Therefore, whatever He says about any subject is the final word on that matter.

We Have Three Choices with Respect to Jesus’ Testimony

Since Jesus demonstrated total trust in the Scriptures, we have three different ways in which we can look at the issue. He was either deceived, ignorant, or He was telling the truth.

Jesus Was a Deceiver

If Jesus knew the Scriptures contained errors, but taught the people that they were error-free, then He was a deceiver. This would make Jesus guilty of lying.

Whatever His motive may have been, it would prove that we could neither trust Him, nor the Scriptures. However, there is no evidence that Jesus ever lied about anything.

Jesus Was Ignorant

If the Bible contains factual errors of which Jesus did not know, then it affects the way we view Him. If He were ignorant of this fact, then it is possible that He was ignorant of other facts.

Logically, if the Bible is not inerrant and Jesus thought it was, then He cannot be the One whom He claimed to be—God the Son. If we cannot trust Him on this subject, then we cannot trust Him on any subject.

The Bible Is Inerrant

The only alternative that fits the facts is that Jesus taught the inerrancy of the Bible because He knew it was true. As the Son of God and the risen Savior, Jesus has demonstrated that He has the authority to make such statements. His Word on the subject is final. If Jesus viewed the Scriptures as being error-free, then the Scriptures are error free. End of story.

Christians Should Have the Same View on Inerrancy as Jesus

For the believer, the view of Jesus toward the Scripture is the Christian view. Thus, if Christians are to be consistent, they will approach the Bible in the same manner as our Lord—believing it to be error-free.

Any person who claims Jesus is their Lord, yet rejects His testimony about the nature of Scripture, is not submitting to His Lordship.

Jesus told believers to learn from Him. We read the following in Matthew:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew NRSV)

In another place, He said the following about Himself:

You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. (John NRSV)

This being the case, in what sense can we call Him Teacher and Lord if we do not adopt His view of Scripture?

Jesus also asked His followers the following question:

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say? (Luke NKJV)

This is a good question. Those who claim to follow Him as Lord should take seriously His view of Scripture. His attitude should be our attitude.

Summary – Question 32
Did Jesus Believe the Scriptures Were Without Error?

The position of Jesus with respect to errors in the Bible is clear—He believed the Scripture was error-free. This can be found in the fact that He considered every Word to be trustworthy, believed the entire Old Testament was historically accurate, taught that the Scriptures were a unity, argued that everything written must be fulfilled, and believed that it contained enough information sufficient for salvation. He also quoted the Scriptures to defend His actions. Jesus Christ totally trusted the Scripture and so should we.

We cannot reject the attitude of Jesus without undermining His entire authority. Either He knew what He was talking about, or He did not. If He did not, then He was either a willful deceiver, or He was ignorant.

The only other choice is that the Bible is inerrant, like Jesus believed. This is the biblical position and this is where all the evidence leads us.

Since All Bible Translations Are Imperfect, How Can We Speak of an Inerrant Bible?← Prior Section

Books that Don’t Belong in the New TestamentNext Section →

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Sours: https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/stewart_don/faq/bible-difficulties/questiondid-jesus-believe-scriptures-without-error.cfm

Jesus Christ's View of Scripture

They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority…MARK

Christ had no doubts about His message because Jesus was the Word of God in human flesh.

The young preacher was in a quandary. While searching for direction about what shape his developing work should take, his plight was aggravated by the fact that a friend in ministry was now having serious questions about his faith, especially about the Scriptures. He had to admit to himself that he, too, was having similar questions. After all, popular writers of the day were making assertions that didn't square with what he had been taught as a child and learned while he was in school. At the heart of his dilemma was whether the Bible could be trusted. His struggle left him feeling hypocritical. He could not go on preaching to people while, at the same time, having nagging doubts in his own mind about the Bible's reliability. With an ever-busier schedule looming before him, something had to give. He had to resolve the issue one way or the other, once and for all.

One moonlit night he went for a walk in the woods, pondering the questions swirling in his head. As he related years later:

Dropping to my knees there in the woods, I opened the Bible at random on a tree stump in front of me. I could not read it in the shadowy moonlight, so I had no idea what text lay before me…I could only stutter into prayer. The exact wording of my prayer is beyond recall, but it must have echoed my thoughts: "O God! There are many things in this book I do not understand. There are many problems with it for which I have no solution. There are many seeming contradictions. There are some areas in it that do not seem to correlate with modern science. I can't answer some of the philosophical and psychological questions…"

Then this young preacher made a commitment that would forever mark his life.

"Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word - by faith! I'm going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be your inspired Word."

Reflecting on that moment, he said, "When I got up from my knees, I sensed the presence and power of God as I had not sensed it in months. Not all my questions were answered, but a major bridge had been crossed. In my heart and mind, I knew a spiritual battle had been fought and won." Throughout his subsequent ministry, people would comment on the conviction and authority with which he preached.

When Christ began teaching the crowds that thronged after Him, He spoke with unparalleled conviction and authority. He had no doubts about His message because Jesus was the Word of God in human flesh. One of the 12 men Jesus chose to be with Him as His disciples, a fisherman named John, began his Gospel account about Jesus by saying, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (John ).

Jesus Himself told His hearers, "You search the Scriptures…it is these that testify about Me" (John ). And, in the words of one of the New Testament writers, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…. And He is…the exact representation of His nature" (Hebrews ).

The authority in Christ's words was evident to those who heard Him. After being tempted he came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."

And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips (Luke ).

In response to this keynote message of His ministry, as well as to His subsequent teaching, people were "amazed…for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Mark ).

As Christ spoke, people wrestled in their minds to come to terms with what He was saying. "Teacher," one man asked, "which is the great commandment in the Law?"

He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets" (Matthew ).

As Jesus proclaimed the Word of God, He unfolded its meaning with a power that penetrated people's hearts. His Sermon on the Mount, for example, recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew - a tax collector also chosen by Jesus to be one of the Twelve - magnified the demands of the Great Commandment with specific applications that pierced external, superficial morality. Far from being a way of salvation, properly understood, the Sermon on the Mount drives us to our knees with an acute realization of our desperate need for Christ's salvation.

The result of Jesus' teaching was that people were astonished. "Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks," they declared (John ).

That's all well and good, you may say, but I've never heard Christ speak. All I have to go on today is the Bible and, like that young preacher, I have lots of questions about it. Is it indeed reliable? Is it, as one historic creed declares, "the only infallible rule of faith and practice"?

My response is that, like that young preacher, each of us ultimately does have to accept the Bible by faith. Doing so, however, does not require blind, irrational faith. To the contrary, it's quite reasonable. It's a leap not into the dark but, rather, into the light.

The Bible we have today that has been translated and passed down from generation to generation is supported by a greater quantity of historical manuscripts - and demonstrates a greater degree of textual consistency and  fidelity - than any other ancient document. The Dead Sea scrolls provide some of the earliest corroboration of the accuracy of the Old Testament manuscripts that served as the basis for today's translations.

Christ Himself affirmed the inspiration and integrity of the Old Testament, which were the Scriptures in existence while He was here. The New Testament was written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses to Christ's life and ministry, by apostles and others whose work could have been decisively refuted had it been untrue.

And archaeology has repeatedly verified key portions of both the Old and New Testaments. When thoroughly considered, there is more evidence for the reliability of the Bible than other sources of information on which we make decisions and take action every day!

It really comes down to a question of our premise: Could Almighty God, in choosing to reveal Himself to the human race, inspire and superintend the compilation of a cohesive and accurate written record of His nature, ways, and will, or would imparting and preserving such a record be too difficult for Him? From my perspective - in an age when billions of bits of information are routinely stored on silicon microchips - while the Bible is certainly a wonder, producing it was for God (I say this reverently) no big deal. For most people, I think their difficulty in accepting the Bible was summed up by Mark Twain when he said, "It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me - it's the parts that I do understand."

Many of Christ's hearers, especially the religious leaders, were greatly troubled by both what they did understand in His teaching as well as what they didn't. Jesus, perceiving in some the attitude that His talk could be just empty words, gave them even more to talk about - namely, His amazing works. Those works would leave them, in today's vernacular, unable to compute.

And, oh, who was that young preacher who determined that night in the woods to rely on the Scriptures? Just the man God would use to preach the gospel of Christ to more people than anyone else in history - Billy Graham. And his commitment to the Scriptures endured throughout his life, a fact to which he testified in the book he authored as his legacy for Christian living, The Journey, and published in his late eighties. There, in reflecting on his moment of commitment to the Scriptures so many years earlier, he wrote these uncompromising words:

Especially significant to me…was Jesus' own view of Scripture. He not only quoted it frequently, but also accepted it as the Word of God…. He also told [His disciples], "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen [rendered in some Bible translations as "jot" and "tittle," referring to markings in the Hebrew alphabet], will by any means disappear from the Law."…Shouldn't I have the same view of Scripture as my Lord?

Taken from Windows into the Heart of God, © by Preston Parrish, Published by Harvest House Publishers

Preston Parrish has served in key leadership roles with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and other evangelical ministries for three decades and is an ordained minister. He and his wife, Glenda, have four children and reside in North Carolina.

Sours: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/jesus-christs-view-of-scripturehtml

Jesus scripture did study

Did Jesus Learn?

Did Jesus Learn?

I taught recently on Luke and indicated in my message that Jesus learned the Scriptures and learned wisdom just like any human. Just as He grew physically, He also had to grow in knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual strength.

That Jesus learned seems pretty clear from verses like Luke and 52 where it says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. You can see an old version of a sermon I taught on Luke here.

Did Jesus learn Scripture from Jewish teachers?

I also pointed out in that message that when Jesus went to Jerusalem at the age of 12 with his parents, He went to the Temple and listened to what was being taught and asked questions (Luke ). Finally, I mentioned Hebrews which indicated that Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered.

After the study concluded, I had several people challenge me on the idea that Jesus had to learn anything. They argued that since Jesus was God, He knew everything, even from birth, and so didn&#;t have to learn from His parents, from reading Scripture, or from anybody at the Temple in Jerusalem.

Such an idea shocked me. I have never heard such a thing before. Have you?

Did Jesus Learn?

I asked if Jesus knew how to speak all languages when He was an infant, and was told that yes, He did. He didn&#;t have to learn how to talk, but that He &#;hid&#; His ability until it was normal and natural for a child to speak. They said that His parents didn&#;t teach Him anything about the Scriptures and that He never had to attend school or a Jewish synagogue to learn how to read or to learn what the Scriptures said. Because He was God in the flesh, He just knew it.

When I pointed out that Luke and 52 says that Jesus grew in wisdom, they said that this just meant that Jesus became known for His wisdom, as is indicated in Luke

I told them that to me, this sounds a lot like the ancient Gnostic and Docetic heresies which taught that Jesus wasn&#;t fully human. After all, isn&#;t learning, growing, and developing in knowledge and wisdom a central element to being human?

If Jesus didn&#;t have to learn, then isn&#;t He just like some sort of divine Buddha child that falls out of heaven, who has all wisdom and knowledge from birth? If Jesus didn&#;t have to learn, then why did Jesus have to wait until He was 30 to begin His ministry? If Jesus didn&#;t have to learn, then how can He truly understand what it is like to be human?

At one point in our discussion, I said, &#;Well, it seems logical that if Jesus was fully human, then He had to learn.&#; Their response was, &#;I don&#;t use logic. I just use Scripture.&#; I just about broke out laughing. It seemed pretty obvious to me that logic was not being used. Ha! One guy also kept saying, &#;I don&#;t speculate about Scripture. I just believe what it says.&#; This is the old &#;The Bible says it; I believe it; that settles it&#; cliche which I wrote about a while back. People like to believe that they are just believing the Bible, but they don&#;t. I don&#;t either. We believe what we think the Bible teaches. Some of what we believe is truly what the Bible says, ans some of what we believe is a misunderstanding of what the Bible says. The trick is knowing which is which&#;

This group also strongly objected to the idea that Jesus might have attended a Jewish synagogue as He was growing up, and also later in life. I pointed out that Luke pretty clearly indicates that Jesus had a tradition of attending the synagogue, which probably went back even into His childhood. They said, &#;Well, even if He did go, He didn&#;t go to learn anything. Even if you are right that Jesus had to learn, there was nothing He could learn from them.&#;

&#;From who?&#; I asked. &#;The Jews?&#;

&#;Right. Jesus wouldn&#;t learn anything from Jews.&#;

&#;&#;You do know Jesus was Jewish, right?&#; I asked.

They responded that they did know this, and we moved on to other topics, but it seemed to me that this was another one of those old mistakes (championed by Marcion who ended up discarding most of the Hebrew Scriptures) where some Christians try to separate Jesus and the apostles from anything Jewish. I believe that such a move causes us to misunderstand most of what Jesus, Paul, and Peter teach. But I digress&#;.

I think Jesus did learn. I think learning is a major element of being human. I think that Scripture pretty clearly indicates that Jesus grew physically, mentally, and spiritually (Luke , 52). Note that something nearly identical is said of John the Baptist in Luke So however a person understand Jesus&#; learning (or lack of learning) in Luke , 52, this same idea must be applied to John in Luke

But what do you think? Did Jesus learn? However you answer, what Scriptures and logical arguments would you use to defend your position? 

On a related note, here is a much harder question: If you think Jesus did have to learn, when do you think Jesus knew He was God incarnate? When do you think He realized He was the promised Messiah?

Below is a video where NT Wright addresses this question a bit, and for you scholarly types, here is an article he wrote on the topic: Did Jesus Know He was God? And for you super scholarly types, I recommend Wright&#;s book, Jesus and Victory of God.

God is UncategorizedBible & Theology Topics: Bible Study, Bible study, Gnosticism, heresy, humanity of Jesus, Jesus, Luke 2, Theology of Jesus

Sours: https://redeeminggod.com/did-jesus-learn/
Why should we read the Bible / study the Bible?

There has been something of a biblical-theological revolution over the past several decades. It is not a revolution in which new doctrines are being uncovered so much as it is one by which our understanding of a Christ-centered and redemptive-historical interpretation of Scripture is being refined. Many in Reformed and Calvinistic churches have welcomed this development with opened arms precisely because the fundamental principles of redemptive-history are already scattered throughout the large corpus of writings of the English Puritans, Dutch theologians of the 17th Century and other post-Reformation Reformed theologians. In essence, Biblical Theology is nothing more, and nothing less, than historic Covenant Theology. While much of what is being written today has already been articulated in former days, there is still more refinement and progress to be made within this particular realm of biblical interpretation. One such refinement comes as we attempt to answer the question, "How did Jesus read the Old Testament?" Surprisingly, this is one question that has seldom been asked and answered. It is my desire to help us briefly think through this question and the implications it has on our Christian lives.

One of the chief reasons why this question has not been asked more frequently is that Reformed, Calvinistic and Evangelical Christians sometimes err on the side of thinking of Jesus as merely being God, but downplay his human nature and Covenant membership as an Israelite born under the Law to redeem His people (Gal. ). Certainly, believing that Jesus is the second Person of the Godhead is the most important tenet of the Christian faith--and something that can only be known and believed by the supernatural and gracious work of God; however, believing that He is also fully man, and the Covenant keeping representative Israelite, is equally fundamental to the Christian faith. He is both David's son and David's Lord (Matt. ). In addition to the truth of the Triunity of God, all the truths of Christ's Person, work and saving benefits form the epi-center of Christianity.

There is almost nothing so difficult as understanding the Person of Jesus--two distinct but inseparable natures in one eternal Person. Yet, the Scriptures teach this truth, historic Christianity affirms it and we will spend eternity worshiping the Christ who is fully God and fully man. Theologians have spent much time seeking to explain what has been called "the hypostatic union." The eternally pre-existent Son of God created a human nature for Himself in the womb of the virgin Mary, "and so became, and continues to be, both God and man in two distinct natures and one person forever."1 In His human nature, Jesus had to "grow in wisdom and stature" (Luke ; 52). He had to learn, just like any other man. Though in the Divine nature He was omniscient, in His human nature He was finite and subject to growth and development. At each stage of human experience He had to grow in His capacity to experience sinless human experience to the extent of His ability. He never ceased to be God, yet willingly laid aside access to what was His by Divine right in order to be our representative second Adam. We needed a Redeemer who was fully man. We need a Redeemer who entered into the same experiences, put Himself under the same Law and who was "tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin." One of the things that He had to experience as man--and that He had to do as human mediator and covenant keeper--was to study and understand the Scriptures. 

There is deep mystery here. Jesus never studied in the Rabbinical schools like all the other religious leaders in Israel (John ). We can safely assume that Mary and Joseph faithfully taught Him the Scriptures from His earliest days. We know that He would have been in the synagogues often as a boy; and Luke tells us that He went with Mary and Joseph to the Temple every year. We find Him there as a 12 year old boy astonishing the teachers with His questions and answers about the Scriptures (Luke ). So, how did Jesus read the Old Testament? Did He read it as a book of morals or character development? Did He read it like the Pharisees and Scribes read it? Far from it! Jesus read the Old Testament as the Covenant revelation of God written to Him and about Him. We have frequently rushed to this latter part and rightly rejoiced in the fact that Old Testament was written about Jesus, but have failed to see that, at the same time, it was written, first and foremost, to Jesus. 

Another reason why this question has not been asked more frequently is that the Reformed are rightly zealous for application and experientialism. The Bible should make a difference on my life. The precious truths contained in it should lead me on to godly living. This is taught everywhere in the pages of Scriptures (e.g. Titus and 1 Timothy ). Some have mistakenly thought that if we say that the Scriptures are first and foremost written to and about Jesus that this will somehow lead on to a denial of my need for transformation. In fact, it is only as we see that the Bible is written to and about Jesus that we will experience Gospel transformation in our lives.  

With these things in mind, here are 10 ways to help us understand how Jesus would have understood the Old Testament to have been written to and about Himself:

1. Jesus understood that the entire Old Testament revealed that He would be the law-keeping Redeemer of His people. We know this from Psalm and Hebrews He would be the willing servant of the LORD who submitted Himself to all of His Father's commands and who always did His Father's will for His people. 

2. Jesus understood that all the promises of God were made to Him--first and foremost--as the Son of Abraham and Son of David. The Apostle Paul explicitly tells us that the promises made to Abraham and his Seed, were made to Christ--prior to being made to anyone else (Gal. ). He had to first be "the heir of all things" (Heb. ) before any of those who have faith in Him become "heirs of all things." Jesus said, "Yes" to the promised curses of the Covenant (curses that we deserve for our sin) in order to merit the Covenant blessings for us. Paul tells us that "all the promises of God are 'yes' and 'amen' in Him." This means that Jesus read the legal demands of the Law--with their promised blessings and curses--as dependent upon His becoming a curse for us so that we might inherit the blessings (Gal. ). 

3. Jesus understood that the Old Testament spoke preeminently of His own sufferings and glories (1 Peter ), as revealed by His Spirit through the prophets. He knew that this was written in part to carry Him through His ministry. For instance, Psalm 22 could only be read experientially by Jesus. David was not crucified. David was not forsaken of God. The Spirit of Christ revealed the sufferings and glories of Christ to prepare Him to experience them in His Messianic experience. We see this same principle at work in what is said by and of Christ in Psalm 16 and Psalm (Psalm 16; Acts ). In this sense we can say that Jesus knew that the whole of the Old Testament was related to His death and resurrection. He told the two on the road to Emmaus that "everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled"and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead" (Luke ).

4. Jesus understood that the Old Testament saints were not--first and foremost--examples of moral uprightness for fallen sinners to emulate, but were themselves sinners who were looking forward to Him by faith (Heb. 11). He explained this to the Pharisees when He told them that "Abraham saw My day, and rejoiced to see it and was glad" (John ). Additionally, He explained that David, Solomon and Jonah existed to point to Him (Matt. 12). 

5. Jesus understood that all the Old Testament types, shadows and symbols pointed to some aspect of His saving work or benefits. We know this because he pointed to Jacob's ladder, the serpent on the pole, and water from the rock (John 1; 3 and 7) as examples of this principle. 

6. Jesus understood that every prophecy was about Him. We see this from his persistent appeal to OT Messianic prophecies as verifying who He is (e.g. Zech. in Matt. ; and, Zech. ; Matt. ).

7. Jesus understood that He was the True Israel, who came to recapitulate Israel's history for the redemption of His people. We know this from Matthew's citation to Hosea in Matthew (see Matt. ); but we also see this from Jesus' quoting from the book of Deuteronomy when he was tempted in the wilderness by the devil (Luke 4). Jesus took up Scripture that was given to Israel in the wilderness where they were tempted. He prevailed where they failed. He is the true Israel (see this post and this post). He went down into Egypt, out of Egypt, through the waters, into the wilderness, up on the mountain, down from the mountain, etc. 

8. Jesus understood that His ministry was to be one of proclaiming the Kingdom of God and the Good News of redemption to hopeless and helpless sinners. We see this from His first sermon in Nazareth (Luke ) where He appealed to Isaiah "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor" 

9. Jesus understood that all the festivals and feasts in the Old Testament were pointing forward to what He would accomplish in the work of redemption. We know this because in that first sermon in Nazareth, He alluded to the Year of Jubilee and explained that He had come to give the reality of what that feast typified. The Year of Jubilee happened once every fifty years--once in a lifetime in an average lifetime (Ps. ). Debts would be cancelled and the inheritance would be restored. Jesus does that very thing spiritually for His people through His death and resurrection. 

Jesus understood that marriage was ordained at creation in order for Him to have a spiritual bride in the church that He would redeem. He repeatedly referred to Himself as "the Bridegroom" (Matt. and ).

While much more could and should be considered regarding this subject, understanding that Jesus read the Old Testament as being written to and about Himself should give us a greater appreciation for the extent to which our Savior went to redeem us. It should help us fix our eyes more steadfastly on the One who is the author and finisher of our faith. It should motivate us to seek Him more fervently. It should encourage us to trust Him as our Redeemer more fully. It should help us understand that all life and godliness are found in Him and in Him alone. It should produce in us shouts of thanksgiving and songs of praise for the loving wisdom of our God in revealing His Covenant revelation to the Covenant keeper. 


1. Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 21


Related Resources

David Murray Jesus On Every Page 

Nick Batzig "The Emmaus Sessions" (audio and video of lectures on redemptive-history)

Nick Batzig "Death and Resurrection: The Key to the Old Testament" 

Ligon Duncan "Covenant Theology" (RTS audio lectures from iTunes U) 

Rick Phillips "What Is Covenant Theology?" (audio lectures)

Edmund Clowney Preaching Christ in All the Scriptures

Edmund Clowney's lectures on Typology Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Peter Lilback "Finding Christ's Virtuous Wife" (a sermon on Prov. 31 read from the perspective of Jesus) 


Sours: https://www.placefortruth.org/blog/how-did-jesus-read-the-old-testament

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