The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”
 

It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith.
But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile. (Titus 3:9)

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Please Note: Nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah, pro-Truth, and pro-Grace. Sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. Why isn’t my theology consistent throughout this website?

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Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.”[GN]

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]


Logos = Torah = Mashiach

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2He was with God in the beginning.
3All things came to be through Him,
and without Him nothing made had being.
4In Him was life,
and the life was the Light of mankind.
5The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not suppressed It. …
14The Word became a human being and lived with us,
and we saw His Sh’khinah,
the Sh’khinah of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5,14)

The “beloved” Apostle Yochanan, a.k.a. “John the Revelator,” tells us a number of critically important things about the “Word.”

  1. The Word (Greek Λόγος, Logos, From lego; something said; by implication, a topic, also reasoning or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, the Divine Expression) existed “in the beginning” of all things (v, 1).
  2. The Logos existed “in the beginning”[1] with (Greek πρὸς, pros, towards, with. A strengthened form of pro; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. toward) God (Greek Θεὸς, Theos, the Supreme Divinity) (vv. 1&2).
  3. The Logos was [as to His very nature] God (Theos)  (v. 1) — “was” is Greek ἦν, ēn, I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist; compare to the Name of God that was revealed to Moses in the burning bush: God said to Moshe, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/was/will be what I am/was/will be],” and added, “Here is what to say to the people of Isra’el: ‘Ehyeh [I Am/Was/Will Be] has sent me to you.’”.
  4. The Logos was the Creator of all things, and there is nothing that exists [has being] that was not created by Him (v. 3).
  5. The Logos is the source of all life [Greek ζωὴ, zōē, life, both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence; from zao, to live] (v. 4).
  6. The Life (zōē) was the Light [Greek φῶς, phōs, a source of light, radiance. From an obsolete phao; luminousness; i.e. the manifestation of God’s self-existent life; the source of all enlightenment, i.e., divine illumination to reveal and impart life] of mankind (v. 4).
  7. The Light [phōs] shines [illuminates] in the [spiritual] darkness, and the [spiritual] darkness cannot overcome [Greek κατέλαβεν, katelaben, from kata (down) and lambano; take hold of exactly, with decisive initiative (eager self-interest); to grasp something in a forceful (firm) manner; (figuratively) to apprehend (comprehend), “making it one’s own;” to take eagerly, i.e. seize, possess, etc.] that Light (v. 5).
  8. The Logos became a human being and made his temporary dwelling [Greek σκηνόω, skénoó, to pitch or live in a tent] among us. Compare Rev 7:15: “For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them” (NASB) or “will put his Sh’khinah upon them” (CJB) (v 14a).
  9. “… we saw His Sh’khinah, [Hebrew שכינה‎, the English transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning “dwelling” or “settling” and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God; thus, the visible manifestiotion of God’s glory], the Sh’khinah of the Father’s only Son” (v. 14b) Thus, the physical manifestation of the Logos among mankind was literally the visible manifestation of God through His only Son.
logos, (Greek: “word,” “reason,” or “plan”) plural logoi, in ancient Greek philosophy and early Christian theology, the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning. Although the concept is also found in Indian, Egyptian, and Persian philosophical and theological systems, it became particularly significant in Christian writings and doctrines as a vehicle for conceiving the role of Jesus Christ as the principle of God active in the creation and the continuous structuring of the cosmos and in revealing the divine plan of salvation to human beings. It thus underlies the basic Christian doctrine of the preexistence of Jesus.
    The idea of the logos in Greek thought harks back at least to the 6th-century-BCE philosopher Heraclitus, who discerned in the cosmic process a logos analogous to the reasoning power in humans. Later, the Stoics, philosophers who followed the teachings of the thinker Zeno of Citium (4th–3rd century BCE), defined the logos as an active rational and spiritual principle that permeated all reality. They called the logos providence, nature, god, and the soul of the universe, which is composed of many seminal logoi that are contained in the universal logos. Philo Judaeus (Philo of Alexandria), a 1st-century-CE Jewish philosopher, taught that the logos was the intermediary between God and the cosmos, being both the agent of creation and the agent through which the human mind can apprehend and comprehend God. According to Philo and the Middle Platonists (philosophers who interpreted in religious terms the teachings of Plato), the logos was both immanent in the world and at the same time the transcendent divine mind. (“Logos” at Britannica.com, accessed 11/16/21)

So in ancient Greek philosophy, and at the time that John’s letter was written, the idea of the Logos was “the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning … the intermediary between God and the cosmos, being both the agent of creation and the agent through which the human mind can apprehend and comprehend God.”

The Aramaic word Memra corresponds to the Greek word Logos. When the Torah was translated into Aramaic, the significance of the word becomes evident:

From the beginning with wisdom the Memra (Word) of the Lord created and perfected the heavens and the earth … And the Memra (Word) of the LORD said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light by His Memra (Word).” (Genesis 1:1–3; Targum[2] Neofiti)
   In this Targum, the Word or Memra is doing, being, and acting as God and yet we see that he is also with God, a distinct essence apart from Him. In fact, the Memra is the one who rested after all his work: “On the seventh day, the Memra of the LORD completed his work which he had created, and there was Sabbath.” (Genesis 2:3; Targum Neofiti)
   The Apostle John grabbed hold of this very Jewish understanding of the Memra (Word of the LORD) to introduce Messiah Yeshua, who is God and yet a distinct essence apart from God. He writes: “In the beginning was the Memra (Word), and the Memra (Word) was with God, and the Memra (Word) was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. … “The [Memra] Word became flesh and lived among us.” (John 1:1-3;14)
[“In the Beginning Was the Memra,” at FreeMessianicBible.com accessed 16 November 2021]

So we can see that we would not be wrong if we then assume that the Logos is the true representation of “the mind of God.”

What was the Torah before it was given to us? The Torah is G‑d's wisdom, as He considers Himself, as He considers us and as He considers His world. It contains the wisdom with which He creates the world and manages it. Think of a concept paper that a producer might write before developing a video game or some other such product. The Torah contains exactly that (and much more). Each of the lofty souls we mentioned [Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob] was able to attain insight into this wisdom and thereby know the hiddenmost secrets of the universe. (“How Did the Torah Exist Before it Happened?” at Chabad.org, accessed 11/16/21)

Again we can see that if we consider the Torah as “God’s wisdom, as He considers Himself, as He considers us, and as He considers His world,” then Torah must be the true representation of “the mind of God,” and God’s wisdom was the creative force that brought the universe into existence. “ADONAI by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens, by His knowledge the deep [springs] burst open and the dew condenses from the sky.” (Prov 3:19-20)

 Euclid’s first notion of logic states that “Things which equal the same thing also equal one another.” Thus, if the Logos is the true representation of “the mind of God,” (i.e., His wisdom) and Torah is the true representation of “the mind of God,” (i.e., His wisdom) then it must logically follow that the Logos and the Torah are equals.

But there is still a deeper meaning to Yochanan’s choice of words. To the Jews of that era, not yet having chapter and verse divisions by which to reference passages in the Tanakh, quoting even part of a sentence sufficed to call the whole passage to mind. Thus, by using the phrase, “In the beginning,” Yochanan is guaranteeing that his audience will automatically call to mind the first words of the Torah: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Yeshua was not only there at the beginning, creating all things, but His Coming brings about a new beginning as well.)
   The Midrash (Beresheit [Genesis] Rabbah 1:1) notes that just as each of the books of Torah is called by (according to their Hebrew names) the first significant word that appears in the book, so the whole of Torah, being one book can also be called by the first significant word that appears in the whole text: Reisheit (Beginning). Therefore, according to the Midrash, the first sentence can also be read, “In/With the Torah, God created the heavens and the earth.” Indeed, the rabbis have long believed that God created the universe with the very letters of the Torah:

Said R. Judah said Rab, “Bezalel knew how to join together the letters by which the heaven and the earth were made. Here it is written, ‘And he has filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom and in understanding and in knowledge’ (Exod. 35:31), and elsewhere it is written, ‘The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding he established the heavens’ (Prov. 3:19), and it is written, ‘By his knowledge the depths were broken up’ (Prov. 3:20).” (b. Berakhot 55a)

“Ah,” one might object, “but that’s just rabbinic superstition, not Scripture.” And we might agree, except that Yochanan uses very similar terms to describe the Messiah, and as we will see the early Ekklesia did as well. This means that both Messiah and the Torah would be identified as the Word by which God created the universe, which would make the Messiah and the Torah one! (Bugg, Michael. “Yeshua: The Living Torah” at hebrewroot.com, accessed 11/19/21)

Thus by the very rules of logic, we can safely say that the Word (Logos), the Torah, and the Mashiach are one and the same.

_______________

  1. Archeologist, theologian, and pastor Roy Blizzard engages in an interesting discussion HERE about the opening words of Genesis, in which he says the first word in the Hebrew Bible, בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית (bə·rê·šîṯ), should probably be translated “at first” rather than “in the beginning.” [RETURN]

 2. Targum: the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible. A targum (Aramaic: תרגום‎ 'interpretation, translation, version') was an originally spoken translation of the Hebrew Bible (also called the Tanakh) that a professional translator (מְתוּרגְמָן mǝturgǝmān) would give in the common language of the listeners when that was not Hebrew. … The translator frequently expanded his translation with paraphrases, explanations and examples, so it became a kind of sermon. Writing down the targum was initially prohibited; nevertheless, some targumitic writings appeared as early as the middle of the first century CE (AD). They were not then recognized as authoritative by the religious leaders. Some subsequent Jewish traditions (beginning with the Babylonian Jews) accepted the written targumim as authoritative translations of the Hebrew scriptures into Aramaic. Today, the common meaning of targum is a written Aramaic translation of the Bible. Only Yemenite Jews continue to use the targumim liturgically. (“Targum” at wikipedia.org, accessed 11/19/2021) [RETURN]

Originally posted on Sunday, 14 November 2021

Page last updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2022 06:40 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!

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