Thursday, December 4, 2008
Jesus Christ, God's final revelation
I believe that biblically Jesus Christ as he is found in Holy Scripture is God's final revelation. On a recent posting about Jesus Christ, experience, and revelation, Carl Hahn of Los Angeles, accused me of being an absolutist about Jesus as God's final revelation found in Scripture. (Well yes I am.)
I wrote, "Jesus Christ as he is found in Scripture is God's final revelation"
"Maybe I don't know what you are talking about, but I think that is simply not true. From personal experience I know this not to be true. But I wonder: Where do you get such an absolutist notion?Surely not from Scripture?"
I did give Carl some Scriptures and some biblical commentary remarks on those verses.
But I found something more that I wanted to add so I decided to make a posting of this. I will first place here some of my comment on that posting then I will add the extra material.
"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, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world." (Heb. 1:1-2)
James Moffatt in A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews writes of the above verses:
"The final disclosure of God's mind and purpose has been made in his Son, who is far superior to the angels; beware then of taking it casually and carelessly!"
"...Christ is God's last word to the world; revelation in him is complete, final and homogeneous."
Again more Scripture, "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9)
A.E. Brooke author of The International Critical Commentary on the Johannine Epistles writes:
"The true revelation of God was given in Jesus Christ. He who rejects the truth about Christ cannot enjoy the fellowship with God which Christ has made possible for men."
And now the extra is F.F. Bruce's The Epistle to the Hebrews, (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) This is on Hebrews 1:1-2.
"God has spoken'. This initial affirmation is basic to the whole argument of this epistle, as indeed it is basic to Christian faith. Had God remained silent, enshrouded in thick darkness, the plight of mankind would have been desperate indeed; but now He has spoken His revealing, redeeming and life-giving word, and in His light we see light. Our author is not thinking of that general revelation of Himself which God has given in creation, providence and conscience__
'Lo, these are but the outskirts of his ways: and how small a whisper do we hear of him!' (Job 26:14)
The earlier stage of the revelation was given in a variety of ways: God spoke in His mighty works of mercy and judgement, and made known through His servants the prophets the meaning and purpose of these works; they were admitted into His secret council and learned His plans in advance. He spoke in storm and thunder to Moses, in a still small voice to Elijah. To those who would not heed the gently flowing streams of Shiloah He spoke by means of the Euphratean flood. Priest and prophet, sage and singer were in their several ways His spokesmen; yet all the successive acts and varying modes of revelation in the ages before Christ came did not add up to the fullness of what God had to say.
His word was not completely uttered until Christ Came; but when Christ came, the word spoken in Him was indeed God's final word. In Him all the promises of God meet with the answering 'yes!' which seals their fulfillment to his people and evokes from them an answering 'Amen!'
The story of divine revelation is a story of progression up to Christ, but there is no progression beyond Him. It is 'at the end of these days' that God has spoken in Him, and by this phrase our author means much more than 'recently'; it is a literal rendering of the Hebrew phrase which is used in the Old Testament to denote the epoch when the words of the prophets will be fulfilled, and its use here means that the appearance of Christ 'once for all at the end of the age' (Ch. 9:26, RSV) has inaugurated that time of fulfillment.God's previous spokesmen were His servants, but for the proclamation of His last word to man He has chosen His Son."1
Picture by Stephen Larson
1.I have broken this very long paragraph up for easier reading.