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The Temptation Of Christ


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#31 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 04:18 PM

That Christ's mind has returned at this moment to the temptation of the kingdoms of the world is confirmed by the following words in Mark and Luke:

Matthew 16:
26 For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life?

Mark 8:
36 For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?

Luke 9:
25 For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself?


The temptation presented here by Peter was the same temptation Christ had faced in the wilderness, and his response was the same.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#32 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:08 PM

Contrary to 'orthodox' readings of the passage, the temptation in the wilderness was not a deliberate abandonment of the son to the wiles of 'Satan', nor was it a test by which he would simply be presented with the opportunity to break a number of commandments. The temptation in the wilderness operated on a higher level entirely.

The issue to be addressed was whether or not Christ would be the son of God in the fullest sense of the term. This is the issue which is identified repeatedly in the temptation record, both explicitly and implicitly.

To be the son of God in the truest and most complete sense did not merely mean to be created miraculously by God, it meant to bear the character of the Father in heaven.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#33 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:08 PM

Both Matthew and Mark deliberately highlight this issue by placing the Divine declaration of sonship within immediate proximity of the wilderness temptation:

Matthew 3:
17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight."

Matthew 4:
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.


Mark 1:
11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight."
12 The Spirit immediately drove him into the wilderness.
13 He was in the wilderness forty days, enduring temptations from Satan. He was with wild animals, and angels were ministering to his needs.


Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#34 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:08 PM

It is no coincidence that Christ was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness immediately after this declaration. This was a test first undergone by God's firstborn son Israel, and for exactly the same reason:

Exodus 4:
22 You must say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord, "Israel is my son, my firstborn,

Deuteronomy 8:
2 Remember the whole way by which he has brought you these forty years through the desert so that he might, by humbling you, test you to see if you have it within you to keep his commandments or not.


This was the test to which the national firstborn was subjected, and Christ, as the individual firstborn, was to undergo the same test. Just as God declared Israel to be His son and then led them into the wilderness to determine whether or not they would uphold their exalted position, so Christ himself was declared publicly to be the son of God, and then led into the wilderness to be tested in the same way.

Edited by Fortigurn, 07 October 2005 - 03:24 PM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#35 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:09 PM

It is not to be expected that such a critical element in the temptation account, so obviously emphasised by both Matthew and Mark, would be overlooked by Luke, especially as Luke's account tends to be the most enlarged and detailed.

For this reason, it seems incongruous that Luke does not place the wilderness temptation in immediate proximity to the declaration of sonship at Christ's baptism. Instead, the two are separated in Luke by an extraordinary digression of 15 verses which apparently describe the genealogy of Christ through Joseph.

By the time this digression has ended, Luke has seemingly led the reader far away from the issue of Christ's Divine sonship, as declared in verse 22, and has apparently taken great care to collate and emphasise a physical genealogy of Christ as a son of men.

Indeed, the starting point of Luke's genealogical account presents Christ as supposedly the son of Joseph, and ends with Adam, expressly declared to be the son of God.

If anything, Luke's genealogy appears superficially to be contrasting Christ as the son of Joseph, with Adam as the son of God. Yet Luke deliberately includes the declaration of Christ's Divine sonship before embarking on this apparent digression, so it is clear he is not abandoning the Biblical teaching that Christ was the unique son of God, Divinely begotten of the Father.

What then is the purpose of Luke's digression?

Edited by Fortigurn, 07 October 2005 - 03:11 PM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#36 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:11 PM

Far from isolating the Divine sonship of Christ from the account of the temptation, Luke is in fact emphasising the vital connection between the two by means of a dramatic - almost hyperbolic - enlargement of the issue of Divine sonship.

This enlargement consists of a 'genealogy' which is not a literal physical genealogy of Christ, but an ancestral list commencing with the commonly held false belief regarding Christ, and ending with a Biblical truth which reintroduces the very issue which is at stake in the temptation experience.

The first important point to identify is that Luke's genealogy is not a description of Christ's physical descent.

Much confusion has resulted from attempts to read this passage as a description of Christ's natural descent, or at least as a descrption of Christ's 'legal' lineage.

It has been argued that the genealogy is Mary's, and that it represents a 'Levirate' line of descent. Writing in the 5th century, Augustine was sufficiently misguided to argue that Christ could be legitimately called the son of Joseph, on the basis that he was born to Mary, who was married to Joseph ('On the Harmony of the Gospels', book II, chapter i, section 2), whereas Luke never graces this a view with the slightest suggestion of legitimacy.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#37 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:12 PM

All such arguments completely miss the point of what Luke is actually saying. Remarkably, men such as Augustine have misread Luke entirely. A careful reading of Luke's words will demonstrate to us the foundation on which he is building, and help us to understand the true purpose of his genealogy:

Luke 3:
23 So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,


From the very start of this section, Luke makes it transparently clear that he is not about to justify the common idea that Christ was the son of Joseph.

On the contrary, he records this as the view of common supposition, in complete contrast to the declaration of Christ's Divine sonship which he has already presented.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#38 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:12 PM

This verse is not, as many seem to see it, the commencement of a totally new section completely unrelated to what has gone before, but the deliberate contrast of the Divine perspective with the mortal.

It should be read in the context of the preceding verse, thus:

Luke 3:
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. And while he was praying, the heavens opened,
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight."
23 So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,


These verses contain two statements which are directly opposed to each other, and Luke places them together in deliberate contrast:

  • You are my dear son
  • The son of Joseph

These statements are mutually exclusive. They cannot both be correct. One is the Divine declaration, and the other is the opinion of men, and lest there be any confusion as to which view is Luke's, he makes it abundantly plain here:

Luke 3:
23 So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,


As far as Luke is concerned, the idea that Christ is the son of Joseph is the mere supposition of men. But why does he mention this here?
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#39 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:15 PM

Luke's intention is to confirm the Divine declaration made at Christ's baptism. Writing for a Gentile audience, his purpose is to confront the skeptical assumptions regarding Christ, and overturn them with incontrovertible evidence. He also wishes to demythologize a term which his Gentile readers may misinterpret - 'son of God'. That this is an important issue for Luke, is seen from his description of the birth of Christ:

Luke 1:
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.


The description given by Luke is deliberately written to inform the Gentile audience that Christ's conception occurred in a manner radically different to that of the pagan demigods, who were products of a physical union between the gods and mortals.

Whilst Divine in origin, Christ's birth was completely different to the birth of the Greek and Roman 'sons of the gods'.

The juxtaposition of 'You are my dear son' with 'The son of Joseph', is Luke's introduction of the issue of sonship which will be settled by the temptation of Christ.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#40 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:15 PM

By means of this method of introduction, Luke gives us the reason for the public declaration of the Father at Christ's baptism - it was to confirm publicly a critical issue which was under question, a matter of public dispute.

How then does the genealogy which follows contribute to Luke's aim? Superficially, it appears to lead the reader in the opposite direction entirely.

We must first identify Luke's purpose in providing this apparently misleading genealogy. At the outset we must dismiss the idea that it is intended to be an accurate description of Christ's literal physical lineage. On what basis can we do this?

Firstly, because Luke makes no claim that this is a literal genealogy of Christ (unlike Matthew's declaration 'This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham', Matthew 1:1, though even Matthew does not represent his genealogy as a description of Christ's physical descent from Joseph).

Secondly, because Luke introduces this 'genealogy' as being what people supposed regarding Christ, as opposed to the reality (Luke 3:23).

Thirdly, because we know from Luke 1:27, 34-35 that it cannot be a literal physical lineage through Joseph, since Luke takes great care to inform us that Christ's birth to Mary was not the result of the usual physical union between man and woman (verse 27 'to a virgin', verse 34 'How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?', verse 35 '“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God').

Fourthly, because the 'genealogy' given by Luke makes no sense as a literal physical lineage of Christ. What point is it trying to make? Matthew's genealogy explicitly identifies Christ as 'the son of David, the son of Abraham', commences with Abraham, refers to David as king, and moves down to Christ through Mary, once Joseph's genealogy is complete.

Luke's genealogy is inverted, starting with Joseph, making no specific mention of Christ's relation to any of the important figures in Jewish history, and moving backwards all the way to Adam, of all people.

Edited by Fortigurn, 07 October 2005 - 03:17 PM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#41 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:16 PM

Matthew's genealogy (although also describing the lineage of Joseph, not Christ), is intended to emphasise two of the most renowned individuals in Jewish history (Abraham and David), so much so that he actually commences with Abraham (Matthew 1:2), and makes specific reference to David's kingship (Matthew 1:6). It is theologically important for Matthew to refer to these two ancestors, and their exalted position.

But Luke's genealogy makes no such connection. It starts with a common man of no distinction (Joseph), omits to identify either David or Abraham as significant, and ends with Adam.

What importance could possibly be attached to either Joseph or Adam in Christ's ancestry? Matthew's genealogy starts with an individual of great importance - the father of the Jewish nation, but Luke starts with the commoner Joseph. Having commenced in mediocrity, Luke's genealogy leads to no stunning conclusion, no exalted finale - it ends with Adam, the 'universal father'.

This is certainly not a way of making Christ look 'special', of distinguishing him from other men - everyone can claim Adam as their ultimate ancestor. This genealogy (if it were literally Christ's), would represent him in exactly the opposite manner - as just another man.

It is true that Luke's genealogy then moves further back from Adam to God, but this conveys nothing significant regarding Christ (who is at this point very far removed from Adam by Luke's genealogy, and even further removed from God).

If anything, it would appear to be saying that Adam was the son of God, whereas Christ was merely the son of Adam. There is an important reason why Luke actually ends his genealogy with the reference to Adam as the son of God, but it is not to prove that Christ was 'son of God' by way of a protracted physical descent from Adam.

Edited by Fortigurn, 30 October 2005 - 09:03 AM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#42 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:18 PM

The genealogy in Luke, therefore, is intended to present what was commonly supposed regarding Christ - that he was the literal son of Joseph, with a mundane genealogy of no particular importance, that he was just another descendant of Adam, like everyone else:

Luke 3:
23 So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,


It is important to note that verses 23 to 38 are all one extended sentence. Everything following this verse is part of what was 'supposed' - not the specific details of the genealogy, but the general ideal that Christ had an earthly father and a mundane genealogy. Luke's point is that it was 'supposed' that Christ had a genealogy just like other men - that he was, at the end of the day, nothing more than just another son of Adam.

For this reason, precise historical accuracy in this genealogy is completely unimportant. It is a sample of the thoughts men had of Christ, the attriubtion to him of a mundane physical descent just like that of any other man.

There are certainly reasons behind Luke's choice of whom to include in this genealogy of Joseph (Matthew's genealogy is similarly selective, being likewise theologically motivated rather than historically motivated), but his reasons do not include the description of Christ as the son of Joseph, whether physical, 'legally adopted', or 'Levirate', nor is he merely interested in drawing Joseph's family tree.

For Luke has a far higher purpose in mind - he intends to prove that Christ is the son of God.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#43 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:19 PM

It is important to note at this point that the subtleties of Luke's presentation in this chapter would not have gone unnoticed by his intended audience. Though undoubtedly writing for a Gentile, Luke assumes a certain Bible knowledge on the part of his reader, for Theophilus is not ignorant of the Christian faith:

Luke 1:
3 So it seemed good to me as well, because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4 so that you may know for certain the things you were taught.


We cannot be certain to what extent Theophilus had been instructed, but we can be certain that he had been made aware of the gospel, and that he had some knowledge of Scripture. Throughout his gospel Luke makes frequent mention of Abraham, Moses, David, and other key Biblical figures without so much as an explanatory aside, assuming a certain prior knowledge on the part of his audience.

For this reason, we can be assured that Luke's careful construction both of the temptation narrative and its introduction, is not lost on his reader. Theophilus would be aware of the true teaching rearding Christ's birth (described in careful detail in Luke 1:34-35), and would be aware also of the importance of men such as David (whose kingship and throne are given particular emphasis in Luke 1:32).

The genealogy in Luke 3 appears totally incongruous in the context of Luke 1, and would have lead the reader to a close examination of the text, in order to determine the purpose of this seemingly contradictory digression.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#44 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:20 PM

Given these facts, it is reasonable to expect Luke's reader to be treating the text with the same scrutiny to which we are subjecting it, and likewise reasonable to consider that Theophilus would have discerned the same meaning we find here.

To summarise Luke's message in verses 22-38, this is what he is saying:

At his public declaration of his mortality and need of salvation from God, Jesus was in return publicly declared by God to be His son.  For popular opinion supposed that Jesus was the son of Joseph, with the same kind of genealogy that many people could claim, just another son of Adam (who actually was the son of God).


This is a paraphrase, but true to the sense of the text, as we can see:

Luke 3:21-23, 38:
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. And while he was praying, the heavens opened,
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight."
23 So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

[...]

38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.


Edited by Fortigurn, 08 October 2005 - 01:17 PM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#45 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 03:20 PM

The conclusion of this passage with a reference to Adam as the son of God returns the mind of the reader to the key issue raised in verses 22-23 - is Jesus the son of God?

If what was 'supposed' regarding Jesus was true, then he would be just another son of Adam, and the temptation in the wilderness would prove this. In fact, Luke's narrative of the temptation will not only prove that Jesus is the son of God, but prove that he is the son of God on a way that Adsm never was.

Given Luke's care to demythologize the term 'son of God' as applied to Christ, we may ask why it is that he uses the term so readily of Adam, without qualification.

The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, Luke is probably taking for granted the fact that Theophilus is aware of the manner of Adam's creation (and that he was not physically sired as the pagan demigods were). Secondly, Luke does in fact wish to make a point of the unique circumstances of Adam's origin, that he was at least as much a son of God through a miracle as Jesus himself.

Luke is going to demonstrate that a miraculous Divine origin is not what constitutes a true son of God. The sonship of Scripture operates on principles which are above and beyond the mechanics of merely physical origin.

Edited by Fortigurn, 07 October 2005 - 03:20 PM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#46 Fortigurn

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:48 AM

This is what Luke wishes his reader to understand from this entire introductory passage (Luke 3:21-38). It is in this context that he then describes the wilderness temptation. Concluding his genealogical list with 'Adam, the son of God', enables Luke to prove this by a number of contrasts between Adam and Christ which are made apparent by means of the wilderness temptation narrative.

Here is Adam, the first 'son of God', and here is Christ, another 'son of God'. One would expect them to have much in common. Will they demonstrate the same characteristics or not?

With 'Adam, the son of God' as the words immediately preceding the description of the wilderness temptation, a contrast between the two is naturally prompted in the mind of the reader as a result of Luke's record:
  • Adam grasped for equality with God; Christ subjected himself to the will of the Father

  • Adam was led by the words of the serpent; Christ was led by the words of his Father

  • Adam sought to provide for himself; Christ trusted his Father to provide for him

  • Subsequent to his temptation and fall, Adam was opposed by cherubim; subsequent to his temptation and triumph, Christ was ministered to by angels
One of the most striking contrasts is that Adam was placed by God in a garden to test him, but because of disobedience was sent into a wilderness, whereas Christ was placed by God in a wilderness to test him, but because of obedience will be received into a garden. This is not described entirely by Luke here in the temptation narrative, but is initiated by him here - the contrast will be completed later in his gospel account (Luke 4:1-13, with 22:43).
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#47 Fortigurn

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:49 AM

We now see that Luke's genealogy in verses 23-38 is not a digression, and that although it seems to separate the Divine declaration of sonship from the account of the temptation (whereas both Matthew and Mark place the two in immediate proximity), in fact Luke has not lost sight of the key issue - that the question of whether Jesus is the son of Joseph (son of Adam), or the son of God, will be answered conclusively by the temptation.

The genealogy in Luke, therefore, is not a distraction from this issue, but an amplification. When we keep reading through the artificial chapter break to the temptation narrative, we find that Luke's account of the temptation is written in such a way as to take up certain key elements in his introduction, again demonstrating that the two passages are closely related:

Luke 3:21-23, 38; 4:1-2:
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. And while he was praying, the heavens opened,
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight."
23 So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

[...]

38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

1 Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,
2 where for forty days he endured temptations from the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, he was famished.


Edited by Fortigurn, 10 October 2005 - 07:50 AM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#48 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:50 AM

There are three significant phrase pairs in this section:
  • 'The Holy Spirit descended on him' (Luke 3:22), with 'full of the Holy Spirit' (Luke 4:1)

  • 'You are my one dear Son' (Luke 3:22), with 'led by the Spirit in the wilderness' (Luke 4:1)

  • 'He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph' (Luke 3:23), with 'he endured temptations from the devil' (Luke 4:2)
These phrase pairs emphasise the close relation between Luke's temptation narrative and the preceding section, demonstrating that the former have been written carefully, with the latter in mind.

By means of these three pairs, Luke takes the reader's mind back to the critical verses in the previous chapter (Luke 3:22-23), in order to maintain the continuity of his message. He does not wish us to be distracted by the genealogy, and so forget the key issue - is Jesus the son of God?
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#49 Fortigurn

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:51 AM

The connection between the first phrase pair is very clear:

Luke 3:
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove.

Luke 4:
1 Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,


Luke is confirming Christ's Divine sonship by making specific mention of the fact that when he entered the wilderness he was full of the same power which had been granted to him by his Father in heaven at his baptism. This establishes the continuity of thought between Luke 3:22-23 and Luke 4:1, as if the genealogy were not there.

Luke wishes the reader to leave behind the spurious speculations of ignorant men, and recall the Divine declaration made publicly at Christ's baptism. He is affirming that this is the son of God.

The very first temptation (deliberately described by Luke in detail), adds weight to Luke's case, for such a temptation could not have challenged an ordinary man, a mere 'son of Adam'.

Only a man invested with Divine power could be tempted to turn stones into bread to feed himself. Luke thus begins the process of using the temptation of Christ to prove his Divine sonship.

Edited by Fortigurn, 10 October 2005 - 07:51 AM.

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#50 Fortigurn

Fortigurn

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:51 AM

The connection between the second phrase pair is less obvious:

Luke 3:
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight."

Luke 4:
1 Then Jesus,full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,


In what way is the description of Christ being led by the spirit in the wilderness related to his sonship?

Firstly, it is a reiteration of the fact that Christ had been given the Holy Spirit by his Father at his baptism, reminding us again that God publicly declared him to be His son at that time.

Secondly, it identifies Christ as the anti-type of the first 'son of God' who was led into the wilderness to undergo a process of testing:

Exodus 4:
22 You must say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord, "Israel is my son, my firstborn,

Deuteronomy 8:
2 Remember the whole way by which he has brought you these forty years through the desert so that he might, [b]by humbling you, test you
to see if you have it within you [b]to keep his commandments or not
.


Christ was to be subjected to the same process of testing as Israel, God's national son. The very fact that he is being led into the wilderness bynthe Spirit of God proves that he is the son of God - this is the Divinely orchestrated test of the firstborn.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#51 Fortigurn

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:52 AM

The connection between the third phrase pair is similarly subtle, but not obscure:

Luke 3:
23 So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

Luke 4:
2 where for forty days he endured temptations from the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, he was famished.


Popular opinion was convinced that Jesus was the son of Joseph. Christ never seems to have doubted his true origin (from the age of twelve, Luke tells us, he was acting on the conviction that God was his father, Luke 2:42, 49), but popular opinion would have had its effect nonetheless.

The effect it had, however, was not to cause Christ to doubt his origin, but to tempt him to prove it openly by public demonstration of his power.

This is the central issue of the wilderness temptation - if you are the son of God, then exercise your power and authority to your advantage both in a manner which publicly refutes popular opinion:

Luke 4:
3 The devil said to him "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."

9 Then the devil brought him to Jerusalem, had him stand on the highest point of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,


In both cases the issue of Christ's sonship is raised, and Christ proves that he is the son of God not simply by his resistance to the temptation, and not be justifying self-serving action with a technical appeal to his rights or privileges, but by overcoming the temptation out of love for his Father.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics




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