Memra or Greek Philosophy

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
The funny thing to me is how quickly Roger will run to context to make a point that can't be made solely from grammar.
Time to give up your red herring argument , Mr. Barrels.

I don’t think you quite get the Greek, so here is the English:

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

What does scripture mean by bold above ?
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
You sounded as though you had reason to believe that it would be changed. What makes you think that it should be?
I think it's too hard of a reading for the Christology of Jude.

In this book, Jesus is considered the agent of the only God, see verse 25. It therefore does not have that high of a Christology to present him as a causal agent. That may have started to change with the ECF and that is where I think this reading originated.

I don't have a problem with seeing the prehuman Son of God as having been active in behalf of the Israelites. And I do think it is more than likely that he did so in Egypt.

But verse 25 with δια explicitly concludes the book with Jesus as intermediate agent and the κύριος reading is more consistent with this.

While it is a close call, this is my preference.
 

John Milton

Active member
I think it's too hard of a reading for the Christology of Jude.
I would say there's not enough of Jude to warrant arguments based on anyone's perceptions of his Christology.
In this book, Jesus is considered the agent of the only God, see verse 25. It therefore does not have that high of a Christology to present him as a causal agent. That may have started to change with the ECF and that is where I think this reading originated.

I don't have a problem with seeing the prehuman Son of God as having been active in behalf of the Israelites. And I do think it is more than likely that he did so in Egypt.

But verse 25 with δια explicitly concludes the book with Jesus as intermediate agent and the κύριος reading is more consistent with this.
The author of Hebrews wrote that Moses led the people out of Egypt, so I don't find it all that hard.
While it is a close call, this is my preference.
I respect that. And for what it's worth, my remarks reflect my personal views and I've tried to word them as such. Thanks for your reply.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I would say there's not enough of Jude to warrant arguments based on anyone's perceptions of his Christology.

I meant the book of Jude, not the writer. It's short, but I gave my reference from it.


The author of Hebrews wrote that Moses led the people out of Egypt, so I don't find it all that hard.

So did Joshua. Maybe that's the Ιησούς.

:)
I respect that. And for what it's worth, my remarks reflect my personal views and I've tried to word them as such. Thanks for your reply.
 

OldShepherd

Active member
FWIW
Here from the Jewish Encyclopedia, part of the article on “Memra,” the Aramaic word for “word.” The Targums were Aramaic translations of the O.T., during the Babylonian captivity about 700 BC.
Here in this citation there are at least eighty examples where the name of YHWH was replaced, in the Targums, with “memra.” When the Jew John said to his Jewish audience, “In the beginning was the Word.” he was not saying anything new.

Jewish Encyclopedia Memra-In the Targum:
In the Targum the Memra figures constantly as the manifestation of the divine power, or as God's messenger in place of God Himself, wherever the predicate is not in conformity with the dignity or the spirituality of the Deity.
Instead of the Scriptural "You have not believed in the Lord," Targ. Deut. i. 32 has "You have not believed in the word of the Lord"; instead of "I shall require it [vengeance] from him," Targ. Deut. xviii. 19 has "My word shall require it." "The Memra," instead of "the Lord [[size=+1]יהוה
]" is "the consuming fire" (Targ. Deut. ix. 3; comp. Targ. Isa. xxx. 27). The Memra "plagued the people" (Targ. Yer. to Ex. xxxii. 35). "The Memra smote him" (II Sam. vi. 7; comp. Targ. I Kings xviii. 24; Hos. xiii. 14; et al.). Not "God," [size=+1]יהוה[/size]] but "the Memra," is met with in Targ. Ex. xix. 17 (Targ. Yer. "the Shekinah"; comp. Targ. Ex. xxv. 22: "I will order My Memra to be there"). "I will cover thee with My Memra," instead of "My hand" (Targ. Ex. xxxiii. 22). Instead of "My soul," "My Memra shall reject you" (Targ. Lev. xxvi. 30; comp. Isa. i. 14, xlii. 1; Jer. vi. 8; Ezek. xxiii. 18). "The voice of the Memra," instead of "God," is heard (Gen. iii. 8; Deut. iv. 33, 36; v. 21; Isa. vi. 8; et al.). Where Moses says, "I stood between the Lord and you" (Deut. v. 5), the Targum has, "between the Memra of the Lord and you"; and the "sign between Me and you" becomes a "sign between My Memra and you" (Ex. xxxi. 13, 17; comp. Lev. xxvi. 46; Gen. ix. 12; xvii. 2, 7, 10; Ezek. xx. 12). "Instead of God, the Memra comes to Abimelek (Gen. xx. 3), and to Balaam (Num. xxiii. 4). His Memra aids and accompanies Israel, performing wonders for them (Targ. Num. xxiii. 21; Deut. i. 30, xxxiii. 3; Targ. Isa. lxiii. 14; Jer. xxxi. 1; Hos. ix. 10 [comp. xi. 3, "the messenger-angel"]). The Memra goes before Cyrus (Isa. xlv. 12). The Lord swears by His Memra (Gen. xxi. 23, xxii. 16, xxiv. 3; Ex. xxxii. 13; Num. xiv. 30; Isa. xlv. 23; Ezek. xx. 5; et al.). It is His Memra that repents (Targ. Gen. vi. 6, viii. 21; I Sam. xv. 11, 35). Not His "hand," but His "Memra has laid the foundation of the earth" (Targ. Isa. xlviii. 13); for His Memra's or Name's sake does He act (l.c. xlviii. 11; II Kings xix. 34). Through the Memra God turns to His people (Targ. Lev. xxvi. 90; II Kings xiii. 23), becomes the shield of Abraham (Gen. xv. 1), and is with Moses (Ex. iii. 12; iv. 12, 15) and with Israel (Targ. Yer. to Num. x. 35, 36; Isa. lxiii. 14). It is the Memra, not God Himself, against whom man offends (Ex. xvi. 8; Num. xiv. 5; I Kings viii. 50; II Kings xix. 28; Isa. i. 2, 16; xlv. 3, 20; Hos. v. 7, vi. 7; Targ. Yer. to Lev. v. 21, vi. 2; Deut. v. 11); through His Memra Israel shall be justified (Targ. Isa. xlv. 25); with the Memra Israel stands in communion (Targ. Josh. xxii. 24, 27); in the Memra man puts his trust (Targ. Gen. xv. 6; Targ. Yer. to Ex. xiv. 31; Jer. xxxix. 18, xlix. 11).[/SIZE]

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=399&letter=M
 

froggy

Active member
FWIW
Here from the Jewish Encyclopedia, part of the article on “Memra,” the Aramaic word for “word.” The Targums were Aramaic translations of the O.T., during the Babylonian captivity about 700 BC.
Here in this citation there are at least eighty examples where the name of YHWH was replaced, in the Targums, with “memra.” When the Jew John said to his Jewish audience, “In the beginning was the Word.” he was not saying anything new.

Jewish Encyclopedia Memra-In the Targum:
In the Targum the Memra figures constantly as the manifestation of the divine power, or as God's messenger in place of God Himself, wherever the predicate is not in conformity with the dignity or the spirituality of the Deity.
Instead of the Scriptural "You have not believed in the Lord," Targ. Deut. i. 32 has "You have not believed in the word of the Lord"; instead of "I shall require it [vengeance] from him," Targ. Deut. xviii. 19 has "My word shall require it." "The Memra," instead of "the Lord [[size=+1]יהוה]" is "the consuming fire" (Targ. Deut. ix. 3; comp. Targ. Isa. xxx. 27). The Memra "plagued the people" (Targ. Yer. to Ex. xxxii. 35). "The Memra smote him" (II Sam. vi. 7; comp. Targ. I Kings xviii. 24; Hos. xiii. 14; et al.). Not "God," [size=+1]יהוה[/size]] but "the Memra," is met with in Targ. Ex. xix. 17 (Targ. Yer. "the Shekinah"; comp. Targ. Ex. xxv. 22: "I will order My Memra to be there"). "I will cover thee with My Memra," instead of "My hand" (Targ. Ex. xxxiii. 22). Instead of "My soul," "My Memra shall reject you" (Targ. Lev. xxvi. 30; comp. Isa. i. 14, xlii. 1; Jer. vi. 8; Ezek. xxiii. 18). "The voice of the Memra," instead of "God," is heard (Gen. iii. 8; Deut. iv. 33, 36; v. 21; Isa. vi. 8; et al.). Where Moses says, "I stood between the Lord and you" (Deut. v. 5), the Targum has, "between the Memra of the Lord and you"; and the "sign between Me and you" becomes a "sign between My Memra and you" (Ex. xxxi. 13, 17; comp. Lev. xxvi. 46; Gen. ix. 12; xvii. 2, 7, 10; Ezek. xx. 12). "Instead of God, the Memra comes to Abimelek (Gen. xx. 3), and to Balaam (Num. xxiii. 4). His Memra aids and accompanies Israel, performing wonders for them (Targ. Num. xxiii. 21; Deut. i. 30, xxxiii. 3; Targ. Isa. lxiii. 14; Jer. xxxi. 1; Hos. ix. 10 [comp. xi. 3, "the messenger-angel"]). The Memra goes before Cyrus (Isa. xlv. 12). The Lord swears by His Memra (Gen. xxi. 23, xxii. 16, xxiv. 3; Ex. xxxii. 13; Num. xiv. 30; Isa. xlv. 23; Ezek. xx. 5; et al.). It is His Memra that repents (Targ. Gen. vi. 6, viii. 21; I Sam. xv. 11, 35). Not His "hand," but His "Memra has laid the foundation of the earth" (Targ. Isa. xlviii. 13); for His Memra's or Name's sake does He act (l.c. xlviii. 11; II Kings xix. 34). Through the Memra God turns to His people (Targ. Lev. xxvi. 90; II Kings xiii. 23), becomes the shield of Abraham (Gen. xv. 1), and is with Moses (Ex. iii. 12; iv. 12, 15) and with Israel (Targ. Yer. to Num. x. 35, 36; Isa. lxiii. 14). It is the Memra, not God Himself, against whom man offends (Ex. xvi. 8; Num. xiv. 5; I Kings viii. 50; II Kings xix. 28; Isa. i. 2, 16; xlv. 3, 20; Hos. v. 7, vi. 7; Targ. Yer. to Lev. v. 21, vi. 2; Deut. v. 11); through His Memra Israel shall be justified (Targ. Isa. xlv. 25); with the Memra Israel stands in communion (Targ. Josh. xxii. 24, 27); in the Memra man puts his trust (Targ. Gen. xv. 6; Targ. Yer. to Ex. xiv. 31; Jer. xxxix. 18, xlix. 11).[/SIZE]
Thank you
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
One has to be on heavy drugs to think that that Jewish document proposes that the Memra was seen by Jews as a personal Divine Being . It is rather an indictment against the Triune nature of God and a strong support for the Unitarian perspective:

MEMRA (= "Ma'amar" or "Dibbur," "Logos"):

"The Word," in the sense of the creative or directive word or speech of God manifesting His power in the world of matter or mind; a term used especially in the Targum as a substitute for "the Lord" when an anthropomorphic expression is to be avoided.

In Scripture "the word of the Lord" commonly denotes the speech addressed to patriarch or prophet (Gen. xv. 1; Num. xii. 6, xxiii. 5; I Sam. iii. 21; Amos v. 1-8); but frequently it denotes also the creative word:
"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made" (Ps. xxxiii. 6; comp. "For He spake, and it was done"; "He sendeth his word, and melteth them [the ice]"; "Fire and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling his word"; Ps. xxxiii. 9, cxlvii. 18, cxlviii. 8). In this sense it is said, "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven" (Ps. cxix. 89). "The Word," heard and announced by the prophet, often became, in the conception of the seer, an efficacious power apart from God, as was the angel or messenger of God: "The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel" (Isa. ix. 7 [A. V. 8], lv. 11); "He sent his word, and healed them" (Ps. cvii. 20); and comp. "his word runneth very swiftly" (Ps. cxlvii. 15).

Personification of the Word. —In Apocryphal and Rabbinical Literature:

While in the Book of Jubilees, xii. 22, the word of God is sent through the angel to Abraham, in other cases it becomes more and more a personified agency:... "Thine Almighty Word leaped down from heaven out of Thy royal throne as a fierce man of war." The Mishnah, with reference to the ten passages in Genesis (ch. i.) beginning with "And God said," speaks of the ten "ma'amarot" (= "speeches") by which the world was created (Abot v. 1; comp. Gen. R. iv. 2: "The upper heavens are held in suspense by the creative Ma'amar"). Out of every speech ["dibbur"] which emanated from God an angel was created. "The Word ["dibbur"] called none but Moses" (Lev. R. i. 4, 5). "The Word ["dibbur"] went forth from the right hand of God and made a circuit around the camp of Israel" (Cant. R. i. 13).

In the Targum:

Like the Shekinah (comp. Targ. Num. xxiii. 21), the Memra is accordingly the manifestation of God. "The Memra brings Israel nigh unto God and sits on His throne receiving the prayers of Israel" (Targ. Yer. to Deut. iv. 7). It shielded Noah from the flood (Targ. Yer. to Gen. vii. 16) and brought about the dispersion of the seventy nations (l.c. xi. 8); it is the guardian of Jacob (Gen. xxviii. 20-21, xxxv. 3) and of Israel (Targ. Yer. to Ex. xii. 23, 29); it works all the wonders in Egypt (l.c. xiii. 8, xiv. 25); hardens the heart of Pharaoh (l.c. xiii. 15); goes before Israel in the wilderness (Targ. Yer. to Ex. xx. 1); blesses Israel (Targ. Yer. to Num. xxiii. 8); battles for the people (Targ. Josh. iii. 7, x. 14, xxiii. 3). As in ruling over the destiny of man the Memra is the agent of God (Targ. Yer. to Num. xxvii. 16), so also is it in the creation of the earth (Isa. xlv. 12) and in the execution of justice (Targ. Yer. to Num. xxxiii. 4). So, in the future, shall the Memra be the comforter (Targ. Isa. lxvi. 13): "My Shekinah I shall put among you, My Memra shall be unto you for a redeeming deity, and you shall be unto My Name a holy people" (Targ. Yer. to Lev. xxii. 12). "My Memra shall be unto you like a good plowman who takes off the yoke from the shoulder of the oxen"; "the Memra will roar to gather the exiled" (Targ. Hos. xi. 5, 10). The Memra is "the witness" (Targ. Yer. xxix. 23); it will be to Israel like a father (l.c. xxxi. 9) and "will rejoice over them to do them good" (l.c. xxxii. 41). "In the Memra the redemption will be found" (Targ. Zech. xii. 5). "The holy Word" was the subject of the hymns of Job (Test. of Job, xii. 3, ed. Kohler).
 

OldShepherd

Active member
One has to be on heavy drugs to think that that Jewish document proposes that the Memra was seen by Jews as a personal Divine Being . It is rather an indictment against the Triune nature of God and a strong support for the Unitarian perspective:

MEMRA (= "Ma'amar" or "Dibbur," "Logos"):

What I quoted says what it says. If you don't like it go argue with the Jewish scholars who wrote it.
 

froggy

Active member
The Memra acts as a mediator between the Father and Creation

And I will establish my covenant between My Word (Memra) and between you


Targum Onkelos Gen. 17:7


And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
The Memra acts as a mediator between the Father and Creation

And I will establish my covenant between My Word (Memra) and between you


Targum Onkelos Gen. 17:7


And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
Galatians 3:19 identifies Moses as the mediator back in the OT. Are you saying Moses was the Memra?
 
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