“The central tenets of the so-called “new testament” have no clear and explicit mention in the Jewish Bible. A messiah figure that comes twice, a dying and rising messiah, even the very use of the word “messiah” to refer to the future promised Davidic king of Israel, the replacement of Israel with Gentiles in some new covenant, a crucifixion, the importance of the cross, the notion of the death of a man by mundane mutilation and execution being a valid offering to God, the notion of one man conferring his righteousness upon another, the contradiction between faith or grace and law; over and over and over again, the main tenets of the new testament and the modern christian has no clear explicit mention in the Jewish Bible.”
James Wood Jr.
James Wood is a Jewish author who argues extensively against the theme of Christ in the Old Testament. The above quote is in response to the words of Augustine, who is quoted as saying, “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed and the Old Testament is the in New Testament revealed.”
How can two groups of people who are zealous for God and passionate about his Word arrive at such different conclusions?
The Bible is the most complicated piece of literature in the history of mankind and we must not become arrogant about our understanding. It is by Christ alone and through his Spirit that any man comes to the knowledge of the Truth. From his teaching on the road to Emmaus to the sending of the Holy Spirit who leads belivers into all Truth, we are dependent on Christ at every turn for his revealed righteousness.
With that in mind, let’s look again to Genesis for the gospel message of hope.
Daily Reading – Genesis 5
The two most popular baby names this year are Emma and Olivia. Emma is an English name derived from an old German word for “universal.” Olivia comes from the Latin for “Olive Tree.” Most names still have meaning today, even if the meaning is irrelevant to the parents who choose it.
Historically, the meaning of a name often played a much greater role in it’s selection. We see this throughout Scripture as parents would name their children based on the significance of the current events in the life of Israel. In the book of Ruth, Naomi’s children are a great example. They are given names reflecting the condition of Israel in rebellion against God and living under the famine of His judgment. At other times, God’s providence leads people to name their children based on the role they will play in the redemptive narrative. The geneaology of Noah is a great example of this.
Noah’s line paints a picture of God’s providence and the complexity of the Bible as it points to Christ. As you read through Genesis 5 you see a lot of names that are unfamiliar and hard to pronounce. This is due to the fact we have the Hebrew rendering of names that would have been very familiar to the people of the day.
Let’s look at Noah’s family line.
Ten names are given from Adam to Noah. This chart gives the Hebrew version along with the meaning of the name. Remember, to the people of Israel these names would have been as familiar in meaning as the names Hope and Joy are to us.
So the line of Noah goes like this, “Man (is) appointed mortal, sorrow, (but) The Blessed God will come down teaching. His death will bring (the) despairng Rest.”
God gives his people a snapshot into the metanarrative of human history through Noah’s lineage. At the Fall, man was appointed mortal through the curse of death. Perfect fellowship with God was broken and man no longer was at Rest. But the Blessed God made himself nothing. And taking the very nature of a servant, he came down teaching the Way, the Truth, and the Life. His death brought Rest to all those who were in the despair of transgressions and sins.
Romans 15:4 says that everything written in the past is for us, so “that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Even in the geneaology of Noah God gives a message of hope, which is intended to build up our faith in Christ that it might serve as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Take some time to thank God that he has opened your eyes to the Truth and revealed his righteousness.
The Emmaus Trail is a weekly devotional study that explores the theme found in all of Scripture of God reconciling himself to the world through the redemption of his Son.
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.