The message here is that the resurrected body is both corporeal and transcendent, solid and fluid, physical and spiritual and therefore meta-physical, super-natural. Most of all, this shows that time, space and matter are subject to Yeshua’s resurrected body.
NB:Accounts of Yeshua’s resurrection appearances: Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24
1 Now on the first (heis[G], echad[H]) day of the week Miriyam[H] (rebellion, Mary) of Magdala[A] (a tower) came early in the morning (proi[G], fourth watch: 3am – 6am, ba’boker[H]) while it was still dark (choshekh[H]), to the tomb, grave (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]) and saw (blepo[G]) the stone (lithos[G]) removed (airo[G]) from the tomb, grave (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]). 2 So she ran and came to Shimon[H] (Hears) K’fa[H] (Peter: rock) and to the other disciple (talmid[H]) whom Yeshua[H] loved as a dear friend (phileo[G]), and said to them, “They have taken the Lord (ho kurios[G]. HaAdonai[H]) from the tomb, grave (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]), and I (ana[A] Aramaic is singular. The Greek is plural “we”) don’t know where they’ve placed Him.”
“On the first day of the week” means sometime between sundown Saturday (Shabbat) and sundown Sunday (Yom Rishon). This is three days and nights following Yeshua’s crucifixion on the Wednesday (Yom Revi’i), making this the day following the weekly Shabbat and not the Shabbat[H] Megas[G] (High Shabbat: John 19:31) of unleavened bread.
“Miriyam of Magdala came early in the morning while it was still dark”. The Greek “proi” refers to the fourth watch of night observed between 3am and 6am. Miriyam had waited until the completion of the Shabbat to come to the tomb. This shows a desperate devotion on the part of Miriyam, a kind of devotion that is sometimes looked down upon in faith communities as being “emotionalism”. It should be noted that Yeshua appears first to a woman, and not just any woman but a woman who had previously been considered of ill repute and out of whom Yeshua had cast sevenfold demonic forces (Luke 8:2).
The writer of John’s Gospel has pointed to Yeshua as God with us (Imanu-El) from the beginning and now makes a correlation between the beginning of creation and the beginning of Yeshua’s recreative act of resurrection which will birth a new creation for all who receive Him.
“While it was still dark…” Begins the recreation narrative and is to be compared to Genesis 1:2 “And the earth was a formless and desolately empty, and darkness was over the surface of the deep,”
Isaiah the prophet also prophecies these events…
“For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.” -Isaiah 60:2-3 NASB
“So she ran and came to Shimon[H] K’fa[H] and to the other disciple whom Yeshua[H] loved as a dear friend…” Yochanan the unnamed disciple and writer of this gospel is recording what Miriyam of Magdala had testified to.
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and I don’t know where they’ve placed Him.” The Aramaic “I” seems a better fit with the context, however the other gospels speak of “women” plural going to the grave which is equally likely to be what Miriyam is referring to. Therefore, both “I” and “We” are correct.
“They have taken Him” May refer to the Romans, the servants of the chief priests or to any other disgruntled group. Ironically later rabbinical Jewish polemics seeking to deny Yeshua’s resurrection claim that Yeshua’s own disciples took away His body in order to fabricate the resurrection.
3 So K’fa[H] (Peter: rock) and the other disciple (talmid[H]) left, and they were going to the tomb, grave (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]). 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple (talmid[H]) swiftly outran K’fa[H] (Peter: rock), and came to the tomb, grave (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]) first; 5 and he stooped down (parakupto[G]) to look (blepo[G]), and saw the linen strips (othonion[G]) lying there; however he did not go in.
Here Yochanan, one prone to humility none the less records accurately that he arrived at the tomb first but was hesitant to go in. One of the reasons for this may have been his association with the priesthood and the perceived Torah restrictions regarding priests and dead bodies. Another reason may have been fearful expectation. We can only surmise and conclude conjecture.
6 So Shimon[H] (Hears) K’fa[H] (Peter: rock) also came, following him (Yochanan), and he (Peter) entered the tomb (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]); and he examined (theoreo[G])the linen strips (othonion[G]) lying there, 7 and the face-cloth (soudarion[G]) which had been on His head, not lying with the linen strips (othonion[G]) but folded up in a place by itself.
Yochanan records K’fa (Peter) as being as tenacious as ever. It is K’fa who examines the tomb and the specific carved out birth where Yeshua had been laid. He checks the linen burial strips and investigates the folded face cloth.
The description of the grave cloths and face cloth is exceptional. The linen strips of grave cloths were lying as if the body had simply left through them without disrupting them, thus leaving them lying flat like the skin of a perforated seed pod. Second, the face cloth had been folded.
There is of course prolifically reported pseudo learned nonsense regarding the cloth being likened to a napkin being folded at the end of a Jewish meal. It is nonsense for a number of reasons. First, this is not an all-inclusive custom in Judaism nor can it be well documented as being the custom in the first century. Second, Yeshua was not finishing a meal, He was beginning a re-creation. Third, identifying a ritually defiled burial cloth with a napkin used to wipe the face during a meal is an abhorrent idea that breaks numerous Torah restrictions regarding ritual purity and spiritual cleansing.
What is important about the folded face cloth is that it denotes a transcendent and seemingly contradictory reality. Yeshua’s resurrected body moved through the linen strips leaving them lying there without need for folding, while at the same time the facecloth was likely removed by Yeshua and folded. This correlates to the fact that Yeshua will soon be recorded as having walked through walls into a room of locked doors while at the same time being in a corporeal state that allows T’oma to touch His wounds (v.19-28).
The message here is that the resurrected body is both corporeal and transcendent, solid and fluid, physical and spiritual and therefore meta-physical, super-natural. Most of all, this shows that time, space and matter are subject to Yeshua’s resurrected body. This affirms the Biblical Jewish belief in the meta-physical resurrection of the dead and directly opposes Gnosticism and its derivative Christian scholarship delusion of a heaven filled with the spirits of human beings devoid of corporeal nature. The promised Olam Haba (World to come) is both illuminated and affirmed by the New Testament accounts.
8 So the other disciple (talmid[H]) who had arrived at the tomb, grave (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]) first then also entered, and he saw (eido[G]) and believed, was persuaded, trusted (pisteuo[G], vaya’amein[H]). 9 For they did not yet understand the Writing (Graphe[G], ha-Katuv[H], Scripture), that He must rise from the dead. 10 So the disciples (talmidim[H]) went away again to their own homes.
That which had been examined by K’fa was now seen by Yochanan and as a result Yochanan believed, trusted, was persuaded, certain of the reality of Yeshua the risen King Messiah.
At some later point in time Yochanan recalled that the Ketuvim (Writings) [the latter portion of the TaNaKH] had prophesied the Messiah’s resurrection:
“For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
You will not allow Your Holy One to see decay.” -Tehillim (Psalm) 16:10
Ref. Jonah (Ketuvim); Matt. 12:40; Acts 2:24-32 (HaBrit HaChadashah)
They returned to their own homes not because they believed Yeshua had been taken and couldn’t be found but rather because they truly believed Yeshua had been resurrected and may have presumed that He had already ascended to the Father God and would therefore not be seen by them again until the fullness of the Kingdom had come on earth as it is in the heavens.
11 But Miriyam[H] (rebellion, Mary) was standing outside the tomb, grave (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]) weeping; so as she wept, she stooped down (parakupto[G]) to look (blepo[G]) into the tomb, grave (mnemeion[G], ha-kaver[H]); 12 and she saw clearly (theoreo[G]) two messengers [angels] (malakhim[H]) in brilliant whiteness (leukos[G]) sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Yeshua[H] had been lying.
Miriyam did not return to her home as K’fa and Yochanan had done. Behold this desperately hopeful woman who had been forgiven much and clearly had a sense of the transcendent reality that surrounded her. She weeps uncontrollably, sensing something she doesn’t fully understand, torn between grief and hope she stoops down to look into the tomb and sees two divine messengers sitting at each end of the cut out birth within the tomb where Messiah had been laid.
What Miriyam was seeing was a symbol of something that would transform earthly worship within time and space until the return of the King Messiah. She was looking at the heavenly reflection of the mercy seat of the Ark of the covenant. A Cheruv (Angel) at each side with wings outstretched to touch one another.
At that time in history the Holy of Holies was empty, devoid of the Ark of the Covenant which had been missing for centuries (last historically recorded as present during the inauguration of Solomon’s Temple 2 Chronicles 5, 6, 8; 35:3). How then was Israel to attain mercy through sacrifice? The answer is in Yeshua’s sacrifice and His blood offered on the mercy seat of the heavenly Ark for which the earthly Ark had been a shadow.
What Miriyam was seeing was the hope of glory, the mercy offered to all who would receive Yeshua’s saving work. Therefore, Yeshua had made it possible for all to enter the Holy of Holies through His blood. As Kohen HaGadol High Priest of the eternal priesthood (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5, 6, 7) Yeshua had made it possible for Miriyam (among others) to become priests of a transcendent “royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 K’fa 2:9). Based on his writings it seems that K’fa (Peter) came to understand this also.
This does not mean that gentile believers are a continuation of or have replaced Israel (ethnic, religious, chosen) but that God has afforded gentile believers a concession through the blood of Messiah that they might become part of the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12) as humble members of God’s Kingdom. Gentile believers do well to remember that the New Covenant is given the Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 31:31-40) and that they are privileged to be adopted into God’s family but should maintain a humble respect for Israel considering it a privilege to have been afforded access to salvation through Israel and not in place of her.
13 And they said to her, “Dear woman (gune[G], ishah[H]), why are you weeping?” She answered them, “Because they have taken away my Lord (Adoniy[H]), and I do not see (eido[G]) where they placed Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw, looked intently on (theoreo[G]) Yeshua[H] standing there, and she did not see, perceive (eido[G]) that it was Yeshua[H].
There are both physical and spiritual reasons for Miriyam’s inability to identify Yeshua straight away.
We recall that there is a correlation here with the first creation, now sin affected, and the birth of a sinless new creation through Yeshua. The garden where the tomb was located relates to the garden of Eden and the Malakhim (Messengers, Angels) to the Cherubim of that garden tasked with guarding its entrance following the sin of Adam and Eve. We note that it was Eve who first took the fruit and that Miriyam is representative of Eve in this remez (hint). Eve had become blinded by sin and like her Miriyam was still blinded to some degree. Therefore, spiritually speaking she required Yeshua to free her from her blindness by naming her a redeemed daughter of God’s Kingdom through His death and resurrection.
On the other hand, physically speaking the resurrected body is devoid of the wear of human life and the effects of human existence within the fallen world and therefore appears starkly different to that of the temporal body. Some suggest that Yeshua’s beard having been torn may have disfigured His face, and that there may have been scaring from the terrible flogging and beating He had endured. Finally, “it was dark”. However, none of this can account for Miriyam being unable to recognise His voice at first (v.15). It seems that Miriyam’s tearful emotional state had temporarily clouded her judgement.
15 Yeshua[H] said to her, “Dear woman (gune[G], ishah[H]), why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Thinking that He was the gardener, she said to Him, “Adon[H] (Sir), if you have carried (bastazo[G]) Him away, tell me where you placed Him, and I will lift Him up (airo[G]).” 16 Yeshua[H] said to her, “Miriyam[H]!” She turned and said to Him in a language of the Hebrews, “Rabboniy[A]!” (which means, “my Teacher”) [My Great One].
The gardener allusion correlates to the first Adam. Yeshua is the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45).
Yeshua’s simple naming of Miriyam of Magdala brings to mind the words of HaMelekh Sh’lomo (King Solomon):
“My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
11 for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.’” -Shir HaShirim (Song of songs) 2:10-11 NRSV
Simply by saying her name Yeshua frees Miriyam from emotional blindness and gives her super-real sight. Note that she “turns” to Him and sees Him in His resurrected glory and exclaims “Rabboniy” My Great One!
It is worth noting that although the New Testament infers that Yeshua was considered a Rabbi by some, it does not explicitly say that Yeshua received any form of rabbinical training. What the New Testament does denote is that He was a hard working labourer alongside His father for much of his life and while being a regular attendee at the synagogue and an observant Biblical Jew was not known to have a teaching and healing ministry until His thirties. We note that Yeshua therefore was qualified as the Rabbi not by human authority but by the authority of God. It is this in part that Miriyam is recognising when she exclaims “Rabboniy”.
“Rabbon” is the Aramaic equivalent to “Rabban” (Halichot Olam Tract. 1. c. 3. p. 25.), which is the Hebrew word given to religious teachers and leaders of great renown. In particular it was given to the heads of the central academy of the Sanhedrin. Gamli’el I, who is quoted in Acts 5:34-39, is known to Jewish history as Rabban Gamli’el.
It is important to note that the word “Rabbon” transliterated into the Greek text, is not known to have been used of human beings but is used often in the Talmud to call upon God as “Rabbono al olam” (Lord of the World) [Talmud Bavliy Taanit, fol. 20. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 94. 1. Abot R. Nathan, c. 9. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 8. fol. 6. 4]. It is at least possible therefore, that Miriyam chose to say “Rabboniy” rather than “Rabbaniy” or “Rabbiy” because she had concluded by faith that Yeshua is Imanu-El (With us God), the “Lord of the World”.
Yeshua reminds us that we are to place no others in the ultimate position of “Rabbi, Father , or Teacher”:
“But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. 9 And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called teachers, for you have one teacher, the Messiah.” -Matthew 23:8-10
17 Yeshua[H] said to her, “Don’t cling to (haptomai[G]) Me, not yet (Oupo[G]), for I am ascending to the Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Av[H]); but go to My brothers (achiym[H]) and say to them, ‘I am ascending (anabaino[G]) to My Father (Aviy[H]) and your Father (Aviychem[H]), to My God (Eliy[H]) and your God (Eloheiychem[H]).’” 18 Miriyam[H] (rebellion, Mary) of Magdala[A] (a tower) came and announced to the disciples (ha talmidim[H]), “I have seen with my eyes (horao[G]) the Lord (HaAdon[H]),” and that He had said these things to her.
The King James translation “Don’t touch Me” is inaccurate. The Greek “haptomai” means more than simply touching, it means to fasten oneself to another. Therefore, the better translation is “Don’t cling to (haptomai[G]) Me, not yet (Oupo[G])”.
Yeshua is not telling Miriyam to take her hands off Him, rather He is gently letting her know that now is not the time for a lengthy reunion because He is briefly ascending to the Father prior to appearing to the disciples over the following forty days before ultimately ascending to the right hand of the Father ten days prior to Shavuot (Pentecost) [Acts 1:9-11].
“but go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.” Literally this refers to Yeshua’s siblings, and by extension to all His brothers and sisters in God’s family. This is why Miriyam in obedience to His instruction goes and tells the disciples. In the case of His siblings, they had yet to believe in Him.
“My Father and your Father, to My God and your God” denotes Yeshua’s resurrection as a corporeal human being who is also God with us. He has made it possible for His brothers to say truly that God is their Father and God, while Yeshua Himself is seen as their brother and continues to submit His humanity to God as Father. Later T’oma will proclaim “My Lord and My God” in response to the reality of Yeshua’s resurrected Person.
“I have seen with my eyes (horao[G]) the Lord (HaAdon[H]),” and that He had said these things to her.” Yochanan the gospel writer is careful to note that Miriyam’s testimony is an eye witness account.
19 Now when it was evening on that day, the first (heis[G], echad[H]) day of the week, and when the doors were shut, inaccessible, locked (kleio[G]) where the disciples (ha talmidim[H]) were because of their fear of the Jewish religious leaders (Ioudaios[G], Yehudiym[H]), Yeshua[H] came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Shalom lechem[H] (Peace, wholeness, wellbeing be to youplural).”
“On the that day” Yom Rishon (Sunday), nearing the end of the day (“evening” here clearly refers to late afternoon prior to the completion of the Biblical Jewish day at sundown).
The disciples were meeting in secret behind locked doors for fear that the religious authorities who had been opposed to Yeshua might come looking for His disciples. It was not because of “their fear of the Jews” as some English translations foolishly render the text. Context denotes that the disciples who were themselves Jews were afraid of the religious Judeans who opposed Yeshua. Therefore to translate Ioudaios here as “Jews” is not only error, it is an affront to the gospel itself, and to the King Messiah (a Jew).
“Yeshua[H] came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Shalom lechem.” The doors were locked, how did Yeshua come and stand in their midst? The only possibility is that He was able to walk through walls or materialize on the other side of doors. And yet, we know from the proceeding verses that His body was physical, corporeal, because T’oma touched Yeshua’s wounds. Therefore, the resurrected body of Messiah is not subject to the material fallen world. He is King of a new and transcendent creation and He has come into the room to reveal Himself to His faithful followers.
Note that Yeshua uses the familiar Hebrew greeting “Shalom lechem” Peace, wholeness and wellbeing be unto all of you. Peace Himself wishes them Peace.
20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples (ha talmidim[H]) then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Yeshua[H] said to them again, “Shalom lechem[H] (Peace, wholeness, wellbeing be to you)”; just as the Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Av[H]) has sent (apostello[G], shalach[H]) Me, I also send you [bid you to carry] (pempo[G], sholeiach[H]).”
Yeshua has been sent as a shaliach by God to bring salvation to the Jewish people and the nations and now He sends His disciples to be Shaliachim (Sent ones) who “carry” the gospel of truth, the message of salvation through Yeshua.
The Hebrew shaliach meaning “sent one” is equivalent to the Greek apostello, from which we get the English apostle. Many today in the Church are adopting this title as one that sets them apart from other believers, making it a title of position over others. This could not be more contrary to the meaning of the word “apostle”. In Messiah Yeshua we are all apostles, shaliachim, sent ones, with One Ruler, Yeshua, the Head of the Body of Believers.
22 And when He had said this, He breathed (emphusao[G]) on them and said to them, “Take hold of (lambano[G]) the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh[H]). 23 If you send away, cancel, place an expiry on, forgive (aphiemi[G]) the sins (missing the mark of God’s Holiness, hamartia[G]) of any, their sins have been sent away, cancelled, have expired, are forgiven (aphiemi[G]) them; if a certain one (tis[G]) continues to hold (krateo[G]) his sin then his sin is retained (krateo[G]).”
Yeshua’s breathing on the disciples mirrors the creation of the first human being by the breath of God (Genesis 2:7). It is not the fullness of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which would come some 50 days later but a transcendent symbolic act announcing the inception of the new creation.
“then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed (vayipach[H]) into his nostrils the direct breath (neshamah[H]) of living (chayiym[H]); and the man became a living being (lenefesh chayah[H]).” -Bereishit (Genesis) 2:7 Author’s translation
All other animals were created and given both ruach (spirit) and nefesh (soul existence) due to the Spirt of God but only human beings were created by the direct breath neshamah of God. This sets humanity apart within creation. Today when liberalism equates animals and human beings it denies the truth of Scripture and insults God Who has made human beings in His image, likeness.
It is interesting to note that the second century Targum speaks of the King Messiah in this way:
"the Spirit went from between the wings of the cherubim, v’nesvayah and breathed upon Him (Manasseh) by the decree, or order of the word of the Lord.'' - Targum on 2 Chronicles 33:13
NB: Here Manasseh is a figure for the promised Messiah.
24 But T’oma[H] (twin), one of the twelve, who was called Didymus[G] (twofold), was not with them when Yeshua[H] came. 25 So the other disciples (talmidim[H]) were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord (HaAdon[H])!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the nail wholes, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe, be convinced, be persuaded of (pisteuo[G], a’amiyn[H]).”
T’oma was no more faithless or disbelieving than any other disciple. He had not witnessed what they had witnessed and therefore, like them, needed to see it with his own eyes. The foolish defaming of his character by far too many Christian scholars is appalling.
In fact T’oma is in good company, after all, our rabbis say of Moses:
"he did not believe that Israel had sinned, but said, ‘if I do not see, I will not believe’" - Shemot Rabba, sect. 46. fol. 142. 2.
T’oma’s need to see for himself gave opportunity for an affirmation of the super-physical nature of Yeshua’s resurrected body.
26 And after eight days His disciples (talmidim[H]) were again inside, and T’oma[H] (twin) with them. Yeshua[H] came, the doors having been shut, inaccessible, locked (kleio[G]), and stood in their midst and said, “Shalom lechem[H] (Peace, wholeness, wellbeing be to you).” 27 Then He said to T’oma[H] (twin), “Place your finger here, and see My hands; and take your hand and put it into My side; and do not continue in disbelief, faithlessness, mistrust (apistos[G]), be faithful, trust, believe (pistos[G], ma’amiyn[H]).”
By first century Jewish measurement of time and according to Biblical time measurement the first and last days of a period are counted and therefore, “eight days later” means “a week later” in modern English. This is why the Jewish boy is circumcised on the eight day, which is one week from birth in accordance with the first day following the creation week.
Once again Yeshua appears in their midst, resurrected, transcendent, meta-physical.
Yeshua does not berate T’oma like some of our self-righteous scholars do but instead affords T’oma an opportunity to touch the evidence and encourages T’oma not to continue in disbelief.
28 T’oma[H] (twin) answered and said to Him, “My Lord (Adoniy[H]) and my God (velohay[H])!” 29 Yeshua[H] said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you believe, trust, are persuaded (he’emaneta[H])? Happy (Makarios[G]) are they who did not see (eido[G]), and believe (hama’amiyniym[H]).”
T’oma says “Adoniy vElohay!” My Lord and My God! This is either the most heinous of blasphemies or Yeshua is God with us (Imanu-El) as the prophet promises (Isaiah 7:14). In order to determine which of the possibilities is true we must look at the response of Yeshua. Does Yeshua rebuke T’oma for blasphemy? Does Yeshua say, “I am your lord in a sense but I’m not God T’oma, be careful what you say.” NO, no and no! Yeshua says “Because you have seen Me you believe…” Believe what? That Yeshua is Lord and God.
Keep in mind what happened to Herod when the crowd later proclaimed concerning him, “This is the voice of God and not of a man!’ Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he didn't give God the glory. He was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:20-23). Therefore, if Yeshua were not God with us would the Angel of the Lord not also have struck Him down?
There are many implicit indications that Yeshua is Imanu-El (God with us), here is yet another allusion to Messiah as present manifest deity. Some Messianic Jewish scholars have said we should not be simplistic in calling Yeshua God, and to some degree this is true, He is God with us and is in the Father in Whom all things exist, however, nor should we be so subtle in our identification of Yeshua as God with us that we fail to convey the reality that only a fully God fully man Messiah is capable of fulfilling the promises of the prophets.
“Happy are they who did not see, and believe.” What a precious reassurance to all who have believed and all who will believe before He returns. I for one can testify to the happiness of belief in the yet to be seen Messiah Yeshua.
30 So then, many other miraculous signs (semeion[G],otot[H]) Yeshua[H] also worked in the presence of the disciples (talmidim[H]), which are not written in this book (baseipher[H]);
Yochanan the writer of this gospel makes it clear that his purpose in writing the gospel was not to detail every sign and wonder performed by Yeshua but rather to detail those aspects of Yeshua’s life and ministry which best revealed His eternal nature and redemptive role. Yochanan was aware that others had written more detailed gospels and that these were accessible to his readers.
31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Yeshua[H] is the Messiah (HaMashiach[H]), the Son of God (ho uihos ho Theos[G], HaBen HaElohim[H]) ; and that by believing (pisteuo[G], be’emunat’chem[H]) you may have living (chayiym[H]) in His Name (bish’mo[H]).
Ultimately Yochanan wrote his gospel “so that you may believe that Yeshua[H] is the Messiah, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have living in His Name.”
Some Greek manuscripts say “so that you may continue believing” while others say “so that you may, at a point in time, come to believe”. This has caused needless debate among scholars. Yochanan the Hebrew was thinking as a Hebrew and intended both meanings simultaneously, so that his gospel would continue to speak to both those who were believing and those who would believe. Once again we are afforded the opportunity to be set free from the false choices posed by Greco-Roman Western thinking Christian scholars. We choose “both and” rather than “this or that”. Seeking to know all is for the idolatrous, holding mystery in tension is for the courageous.
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
Spiritual leader of Beth Melekh Community, Auckland, Aotearoa, N.Z.