Jesus in the old testament

by Steel 19 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Steel

    About two years ago i was challenged by a householder to do the research on the subject. Of course thinking it was all bunk I decided to take a look off the reservation. Much to my surprise a lot of started to make sense and I started to understand the connections between the old and new testament . I am not going to go into much detail about the said subject because it all out there if a person wants to learn.

    The funny is in all my years in the KH I can't remember what the Wts position on the subject was. All I remember was an endless north Korea like propaganda program gloryifing the leadership.

    Does anyone know what they believe?

  • Crazyguy
    There's talk in Isaiah chapter 54 I believe that's the right chapter but some say this is Isaiah talking about his own son.
  • leaving_quietly

    The All Scripture book on pages 343-345 contained a partial list of prophecies fulfilled by Christ. WTBTS did acknowledge Jesus in the OT, but didn't dwell on it, other than to say it fulfilled those prophecies. However, they didn't dwell on him meaning the rock that Moses struck (1 Cor 10:4) or how Moses lifting up the copper serpent represented Christ being lifted up (John 3:14,15). Oh, I'm sure these things were said at times, but never emphasized much.

    Luke 24:27 records: "And starting with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures."

    Back then, "all the Scriptures" meant solely the OT as the NT hadn't been written yet.

  • Steel

    So there is no concept of a preincarnate jesus being a character in the old testament in Wts land?

  • fulltimestudent
    Previous post: So there is no concept of a preincarnate jesus being a character in the old testament in Wts land?

    Response: In the minds of most Christians including the JWS, there is a belief that the OT writers foretold a divine or semi-divine or human figure who would liberate the Jewish people from gentile domination.

    The NT writers claim that Jesus fulfilled those OT 'prophecies,' some even suggesting that Jesus claimed fulfillment. Whether he actually did claim that or whether later writers (of the gospels) wrote that he claimed that he fulfilled the OT prophecies cannot be known for sure.

    What is sure, is that Jesus died, and outside of the imaginations of believers, has never been heard from again.

    Hence he was as much a dupe of the bible, as we ourselves once were.

  • leaving_quietly

    There was this nagging memory of some thought some time ago that Jesus was the "pillar of fire" or something like that. Took me a bit, but I finally found the one reference I was looking for.

    21 Jehovah also uses angelic representatives to teach, including his Firstborn, “the Word.” (John 1:1-3) Although Jehovah could have spoken directly to his perfect human son, Adam, in the garden of Eden, likely he used the prehuman Jesus to speak for Him. (Genesis 2:16, 17) This one was probably “the angel of the true God who was going ahead of the camp of Israel” and regarding whom Jehovah commanded: “Obey his voice.” (Exodus 14:19; 23:20, 21) No doubt the prehuman Jesus was also the “prince of the army of Jehovah” who appeared to Joshua to strengthen him. (Joshua 5:14, 15) Jehovah also uses other angels to impart his teachings, such as those he used to deliver his Law to Moses.—Exodus 20:1; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2, 3.

    w95 8/1 p. 13 par. 21

    Then I searched for "prehuman Jesus" and found this:

    As the history of Israel unfurled, the Word observed Satan’s attempts to turn humans away from pure worship. Following the Exodus from Egypt, God told Israel through Moses: “Here I am sending an angel ahead of you to keep you on the road and to bring you into the place that I have prepared. Watch yourself because of him and obey his voice. Do not behave rebelliously against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; because my name is within him.” (Exodus 23:20, 21) Who was this angel? Likely, the prehuman Jesus.

    w98 6/15 p. 23


    •23:20-23—Who was the angel mentioned here, and how was it that Jehovah’s name was “within him”?
    Angels other than the prehuman Jesus Christ were used to transmit God’s law to Moses. (John 1:1-3, 14; Hebrews 2:2, 3) But it is reasonable to conclude that the angel of whom Jehovah said “my name is within him” was Jesus in his prehuman form. He was used to guide the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) Jesus, whose name means “Salvation of Jehovah,” is the principal one that upholds and vindicates his Father’s name.

    w83 10/15 p. 31


    What “things” did Isaiah say “because he saw his glory”? Well, John quotes Isaiah here twice, first quoting Isaiah 53:1 concerning the “arm of Jehovah” and then quoting Isaiah 6:10 concerning the temple vision. At Isaiah 53:1 the “arm of Jehovah” is Christ Jesus. At Isaiah 6:10 the speaker at the temple is Jehovah, but he includes his Son with him when he says: “Who will go for us?” that is, for me and my Son. Thus we see that the prehuman Jesus was associated with Jehovah in his glory at the temple, and hence John could rightly say Isaiah here saw his glory and spoke about him, “the arm of Jehovah.” Certainly Jesus the Greater Isaiah had not sent himself, but Jehovah at the temple did so, for John here applies Isaiah 6:10 to Jesus as the Sent One toward whom this prophecy was first fulfilled, after Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem and offered himself as King and had cleansed the temple. At that time Jesus was not in “his glory”, but the Jewish leaders had vilified him and had conspired to kill him.
    w51 4/1 p. 216

    There's probably more, but it's not something that was discussed all that much that I can recall.

  • David_Jay

    The connection between Jesus Christ and the Sacred Scriptures of the Jewish people is not an immediate one, which is the way it has been reduced by the Jehovah's Witnesses and many literalist Christians.

    For instance, there are no texts in any part of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that speak of "the coming of the Messiah," especially in the sense advanced by Jehovah' Witness theology, namely that Jesus literally fulfilled the common expectation of the Jewish people in this regard.

    In reality, not only does Judaism strongly hold that this is not true, the Roman Catholic Church (the largest and historically oldest of the Christian denominations) does not teach this idea either.

    Recently the Pontifical Biblical Commission stated on this subject of the connection between the Old and New Testament regarding Christ as the link:

    Christian faith [in the Catholic Church] recognises the fulfilment, in Christ, of the Scriptures and the hopes of Israel, but it does not understand this fulfilment as a literal one. Such a conception would be reductionist. In reality, in the mystery of Christ crucified and risen, fulfilment is brought about in a manner unforeseen. It includes transcendence. Jesus is not confined to playing an already fixed role — that of Messiah — but he confers, on the notions of Messiah and salvation, a fullness which could not have been imagined in advance....It would be wrong to consider the prophecies of the Old Testament as some kind of photographic anticipations of future events....The messiahship of Jesus has a meaning that is new and original.--The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible.

    The Jewish concept of "Messiah" is not directly found in Scripture but is, as most Jewish and Christian scholars now agree, post-Biblical or outside of the realms of Old Testament works. While there are indeed, and without reservation, prophecies about the Messianic age and messianic figures and the David dynasty being the ruling power in texts like those of the prophet Isaiah and even foreshadowed in some of the Psalms (and on this Jews definitely acknowledge), none of the same actually speak of "the Messiah."

    As the document from the Pontifical Biblical Commission stated above, there are no texts that say "the Messiah will do such and such" or that "the Messiah will be this or that." The expression "the Messiah" never actually occurs in any of the Old Testament passages, even those that Jews consider to be Messianic prophecies. These texts often speak of a ruler, a king, usually "David," and speak of an era of peace, but never anything like "the Messiah will be a son of David" or "the Messiah will usher in the new world."

    The expectations of the Messiah were quite limited by the time of the Second Temple era into which Jesus of Nazareth was born, and the idea was neither central to or universally accepted in Judaism. As the Catholic Church itself acknowledges, "Jesus is not confined to playing an already fixed role — that of Messiah — but he confers, on the notions of Messiah and salvation, a fullness which could not have been imagined in advance."

    The Messiah concept of Jesus is far greater than anything imagined or even assumed necessary by the Jews. And the popular expectations of the Jews about the Messiah's role (i.e., that he would restore the Kingdom of Israel, liberate them from foreign rule, gather all members of the Diaspora back to the soil of Israel, usher in an era of enlightenment to all nations and the physical resurrection of the dead) never happened. Like the Catholic Church admits, Jesus cannot be the great Messiah of the New Testament and yet confined to the notions of Messiah held by the Jews or so lightly touched upon in Jewish Scripture. While there is a connection, it requires placing a new hermeneutic approach over the Jewish Scriptures, one which had not existed nor was ever available to the Jews before the Church standardized its doctrine about Jesus.

    Thus the Jehovah's Witnesses and their concept of the connection between the two sets of Scriptures finds no support in Judaism or the oldest and original form of Christianity. To accept Jesus as Messiah and as "the connection between the Testaments" requires reading something new into the Scriptures of the Jews, at least according to Catholicism and Judaism.

  • Steel

    The reason I started this thread was i just finished reading a book called the two powers in heaven. In the old testament there seems to be a real obscuring between of the identity of jehovah, the angel of jehovah and the word of jehovah.

    It also deals with the idea of what new testament writers thought Christ was. The visible image of the invisible God, no one has seen the father only the son. It's all based on the old testament.

    The reason the subject is so interesting to me is when you meet a jw they call themselves the truth and give you this song and dance about the evil trinity.

    There actually is somewhat of a case for the bi unity of god.

  • Carol1111

    Interesting, Steel.

    I don't see much evidence for the trinity. In new testament visions God is seen with Jesus sitting or standing at his right hand side. No third person is seen.

  • TheWonderofYou

    The figure of speach "seated at the right hand of God" appears elsewhere also as "seated at the right hand of the father". In jewish ears this was the most possible and imaginable and coralgem immediate form of nearness to God. Early christian found as reported in Acts 2:32-36 that Psalm 110,1 where God allows a lord to be seated next to him had been fulfilled in Jesus.
    Therefore the bible writes that Jesus confessed before the highest jewish court, that he was the Son of man who would be seated at the right hand of God. That confession brought him the allgegation of blasphemie. Cause who sits right to God participates in his kingdom and might. Like an ancient grand vizier took place at the right side of a great king and was introduced to the practise of government affairs. It turns around enthronement and godlike authority, whereby it cannot be used to count the numbers of the heads of the Godhead.

    Example: Trump is seated at the right side of Obama (when he gives an interviews e.g.)

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