Book Review Part 3 of Dan Lioy’s “Jesus as Torah in John 1-12”: Chp. 3 “Jesus as Torah in John 1”

Posted: December 21, 2007 by Rick Hogaboam in Biblical Studies, Book Reviews, Christology
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Dr. Lioy engages the 1st chapter of John’s gospel to expound the premise of this volume that Jesus is Torah. Lioy mentions that one of John’s intents in authoring this Gospel was to confront false teachers who denied that Jesus was the divine Son of God. Accordingly, “One is left with the impression that throughout Jesus’ ministry, He was on trial, a situation that mirrors the courtroom language of the Old Testament (see Isa 43-48)” (p. 59).

Also, “For the apostle John, it was imperative to establish numerous eyewitnesses to testify that Jesus is the Messiah” (p. 50).

Having stated John’s redactive aims, Lioy points out how the 1st chapter wastes no time getting to the point. In it, we are introduced to witness number 1, John the Baptist. It is also worth mentioning that Jesus genealogy in John’s gospel goes straight to His eternal pre-existence from the Father. Such being the case, John is striving to portray Jesus as divine and eternal as a response to false teachers who denied such. John the Baptist, though older, even asserts that Jesus was preeminent.

Lioy deals with the “light” theme found in John’s gospel and sees in it significance pointing to Jesus as Torah. Lioy states, “…the Son brings the light of divine truth to a sin-cursed world….Only those who believe in Him are enlightened in the truest sense of the word” (p. 51).

I can’t help but recall the following verses in Psalm 119:

Psa 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psa 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

That Torah is connected with light, a guiding light, it is only fitting that Jesus is called light. Jesus light shows us the path to walk in. We are to live in this light. It will keep us from stumbling. I wonder if John’s audience would connect the theme of “light” with Torah? or if “light” would connote something else. If “light” didn’t connect with Torah, then the premise of this book, at least on this point, would have to be questioned. Is it John’s intent to portray Jesus as Torah to a Gentile audience?

Lioy states that one reason for Jesus incarnation and saving mission was to make God know and accessible to mankind, “The saving mission of Jesus and the culmination of the Torah included making God known and accessible to mankind” (p. 52). This comments invokes in my mind the promise of God in Jeremiah regarding a new covenant in which we would not need to teach one another but that we would all have the word of God internalized in our hearts. While some debate the exact application of this promise in Jeremiah, it is applied to the New Covenant that was inaugurated by Jesus. Jesus baptizes us with the Spirit, ushering us into a new relationship in which we walk in light and newness of life.

Regarding the establishing of witness to Jesus as Torah, Lioy points out 4 main testimonies: “John the Baptizer, the Son’s own miracles, God the Father, and Scripture…” (p. 60). This accords with the whole of John’s gospel, especially when he admits that al was written so that we might believe that Jesus is who He claimed Himself to be.

John the Baptist is a significant witness in that he prepared the way for Jesus, attested to His Divine stature, claimed Him to be a lamb, and testified to a great coming baptism of the Spirit. John also baptized Jesus, and heard the voice of the Father and saw the descending Dove.

Beyond John the Baptist, we are given an account of Jesus first followers: Andrew, John, Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel. Nathaniel’s declaration of Jesus as the “Son of God” and as the “king of Israel” are significant considering his initial skepticism. It is a picture of all who are skeptical and are drawn in by Jesus extraordinary signs…which convinced Nathaniel when Jesus declared that Nathaniel had been sitting under a tree. This also accords with John’s intent to show miracles as a verifying witness to Jesus divine nature:

Joh 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;

Joh 20:31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Is Jesus the “light”, the “lamb”, the Torah? It all boils down to whether John’s gospel is trustworthy. We are a juror in the grand scheme of things and if we proclaim “faith”, then we are made children of God, brought into the light from darkness, receive forgiveness of sins. The Torah is but a type in its laws, sacrificial guidance, and such which points to the reality of Jesus. He is the “end of the law”…the culminating reality and substance of it. 

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Comments
  1. Dan Lioy says:

    Rick,

    Your ongoing review of my monograph is appreciated. In it you wondered whether John’s first century AD audience would have connected the notion of “light” with that of “Torah.” I would answer *yes*. For instance, I note in chapter 6 of the monograph (page 150) that “in the first century AD, light was regarded as a symbol of the law” (cf. Pss. 43:3; 119:105, 130; Isa. 51:4; Wis. 7:26; 18:3-4). Jesus, in turn, during the Feast of Tabernacles, “declared Himself to be the Light of the world” (cf. John 8:12; 9:5). I also note that the “implication is that the Son, as eschatological light and life, is the realization of what was promised/expected in Torah.”

    Moreover, I state in the first chapter of the monograph (“Framework and Intent of the Study”) that there is a longstanding conceptual correspondence between *logos* (“word”) and *torah* (“law”, “teaching”; see especially pages 8-10, including the extensive footnotes). I also note on page 10 that “Jesus as Torah functions as a dominant leitmotif (together with Logos) to conceptualize the totality of the person and work of the Son.” Moreover, I maintain that “Jesus as Torah” is “a powerful Christological symbol that illumines all the other major themes appearing in the Fourth Gospel,” including that of “light.”

    Furthermore, I point out on page 11 that “Jesus, as the final expression of God’s Tanakh, created all things and is the source of light and life (John 1:1-13)” and that “the children of light are those who put their trust in the Messiah (12:35-36) and receive eternal life (3:36).” I state in chapter 3 (page 51) that “Jesus directly referred to Himself as a light that has come into the world so that all those who believed in Him would not remain in darkness.” As well, “through His Incarnation, the Son brings the light of divine truth to a sin-cursed world and in so doing discloses the spiritual need all people have for salvation.”

    Later in your review, you note my discussion about various witnesses in affirmation of Jesus, including John the Baptizer. As I state in various places in my monograph, the latter material is part of a larger lawsuit / trial motif appearing in the Fourth Gospel. I think it is a *very* important aspect of the Fourth Gospel. For the places in my work where I discuss this motif in more detail, be sure to check out the Subject Index at the end. In fact, I would recommend consulting it for other major subjects, such as the concept of “light,” or for that matter such subjects as Judaism, the Mosaic law, Moses traditions and typology, and so on.

    I trust you will find this and other material appearing throughout the monograph to be helpful, clarifying, and edifying.

    Dan Lioy

  2. Dan Lioy says:

    Rick,

    I also wanted to respond to your comments regarding the new covenant, especially its relationship to the people of God today. My journal article titled “Progressive Covenantalism as an Integrating Motif of Scripture” deals with this and other interrelated issues. It was published in the March 2006 issue of Conspectus, the e-journal of SATS. Here’s the link: http://www.theological-research.org/conspectus.php

    The abstract for the essay says the following:

    >>>Progressive covenantalism is a new working model for comprehending the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. The goal is to articulate a consistent understanding of how to put together seemingly heterogeneous portions of Scripture. This integrating motif asserts that God’s progressive revelation of His covenants is an extension of the kingdom blessings He first introduced in creation. Affiliated claims are that the various covenants revealed in Scripture are interrelated and build on one another, that the people of God throughout the history of salvation are united, and that they equally share in His eschatological promises.<<>>Concerning Jeremiah 31:31-34, this arguably would have been the high point of Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry. By saying that a day will come, Jeremiah also indicated that the new covenant will be part of the future messianic age (v. 31; Feinberg 1976:6:574-575). More than a century before (722 BC), the Assyrians had defeated and removed the residents of Israel (cf. 2 Kings 17:5-6); however, even though the northern kingdom no longer existed, Israel would be included along with Judah in the new covenant (Jer 31:31). This indicates that it was to be for all God’s people. Indeed, “Israel” (v. 33) refers to the entire nation, which was divided into the house of Israel and Judah; also, the phrase “after that time” refers to the Jews’ return from exile and their repopulation of the promised land.

    As Thompson (1980:580) points out, the covenant the Lord inaugurated between Himself and the Israelites at Mount Sinai forms the backdrop to Jeremiah’s announcement (Exod 19:1-24:11; cf. Keown, Scalise, and Smothers 1995:133). The limitations associated with the old covenant underscored the reason for the new covenant. In the former, which God originally made with the ancestors of the Jews, He took them by the hand (in a manner of speaking) and led them out of the land of Egypt (v. 32). Even though the Lord was like a faithful and devoted husband to Israel, the people continually broke the Mosaic covenant. The new covenant would have to address the problem inherent in the old one. In particular, it would have to compensate for the inability of the people to perform up to God’s standards.

    It was never God’s intent that the Mosaic law be used as a means to obtain salvation; instead, forgiveness of sins has always been the Lord’s gracious gift to those who have humbled themselves before Him in faith (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:3). The law was God’s way of pointing out the pathway that believers should walk (Rom 7:7; Gal 3:19, 24; for a detailed discussion of the biblical concept of the law, cf. Lioy 2004:13-34). Thus, the problem with the covenant at Mount Sinai was not in God’s provision, but in Israel’s response. Only the Lord could change the hearts and minds of His people; thus, a new covenant was needed.

    In Jeremiah 31:33, the Lord pledged to do three things in the new covenant. First, He would put His law within His people; it would become a part of their innermost being. Second, God would write the law on their hearts; expressed differently, His will and Word would affect their thoughts, emotions, and decisions. Third, the Lord would be the God of the Jews, and they would be His chosen people. Jeremiah was echoing several Old Testament promises (cf. Gen 17:7; Exod 6:7; Lev 26:12). Nonetheless, the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah opened a new avenue for human beings to relate to their heavenly Father. Because of the salvation provided by the Redeemer, all believers can enter into God’s presence. Here is seen the essential difference between the old and new covenants. The new one would be primarily internal, while the old one was principally external. The new covenant represented a relationship, while the old covenant was more of a legal document. The old was written on tablets of stone, while the new would be written on human hearts (cf. 2 Cor 3:3). Once the law of God could be implanted within people’s hearts, their relationship with the Lord could be permanent (cf. Malone 1989:211-213).

    Such distinctions, however, should not be overstated (Barker 1982:6), for there remains a fundamental unity between the old and new covenants. Indeed, embedded within the concept of covenant is “continuity in the divine purpose in history” (Campbell 1993:182). This observation implies that the new covenant is “not new in essence, but new in fulfillment” (Thompson 1979:1:792; cf. Dumbrell 1984:175, 184-185, 199-200). In Romans 11:11-24, Paul revealed that the Lord has grafted Gentiles into the people of God (that is, the stem of Abraham), like wild olive shoots into the main trunk of an olive plant. Similarly, the new covenant is “part of the same tree” as the old covenant, not “an altogether new stock” (McKenzie 2000:107; cf. Shelton 2005:49).

    McKenzie (2000:59) explained that both the old and new covenants involve the same parties, namely, the Lord and His people. In the time of Jeremiah, the latter would have been “the descendants of the exodus generation, who were the recipients of the original covenant.” Furthermore, both covenants have God’s moral code as their ethical foundation, with the Mosaic law being the chief historical expression of it. As Barker (1982:6) noted, the Old and New Testaments alike “speak with a united voice on the importance—indeed, the necessity—of adhering to the spirit of the law.” Moreover, the new covenant, like its predecessor, is rooted deeply in the sacred traditions, writings, and communal life of ancient Israel (McKenzie 2000:89; cf. Kaiser 1978:233-234). . . .

    Hebrews 8 provides additional commentary on the interrelationship between the old and new covenants. An examination of this passage indicates that God’s progressive revelation of His covenants is the integrating motif (or the determining, controlling concept) between the testaments. Verses 1-5 reveal that because Jesus’ ministry is heavenly and unlimited, it is superior to that of the Levitical priests. The Saviour, as the mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim 2:5), has inaugurated a new and better covenant than the old one based on the Mosaic law. The new covenant is better, precisely because it is “established on better promises” (Heb 8:6). As deSilva (2001:24) noted, “Jesus is the focal point, the lens through which the light of God’s favor and promises come into focus and shine out to humanity.”

    The writer of Hebrews argued that if the first covenant had sufficiently met the needs of people and had adequately provided for their salvation, then there would have been no need for a new covenant to replace it (v. 7). But the old covenant was insufficient and inadequate in bringing people to God, and therefore a new covenant had to be established. The nexus of the shortfall was not the covenant in and of itself, but those living under it. God had found fault with the Israelites, primarily because they did not continue in that covenant (v. 8). While God initiated the old covenant with His people, they also willingly agreed to it (cf. Josh 24). Thus, the covenant was a mutual obligation between God and the people. Nonetheless, the people often failed to live up to their part of the obligation (cf. Neh 9; Dan 9:1-19). As a result, human failure rendered the old covenant inoperative (cf. Rom 7:7-25). The establishment of a new covenant naturally implies that the old covenant is obsolete, needs to be replaced, and will eventually disappear from the scene altogether (Heb 8:13).

    In would be incorrect to conclude from the preceding remarks that the writer of Hebrews disparaged or maligned the old covenant. After all, as Newman (1997:248-249) points out, the contrast is not between an evil system (namely, the old covenant) and a good system (namely, the new covenant), but between what is good and what is better. This train of thought, which was common among the Jewish people in the first century A.D., is an “argument from the lesser to the greater.” It is comparable to the rationale offered by Paul in 2 Corinthians 3 on the subject of the greater glory of the new covenant compared to the old covenant. In the case of the Mosaic covenant, it was provisional in nature. With the advent of the Messiah, “a new day in salvation history has dawned” (cf. Jocz 1968:243-245; Malone 1989:211).<<<

    Dan Lioy

  3. Interesting…never who the label Torah for Jesus before. Why not just use the term John uses “the Word of God”?

  4. […] December 23, 2007 by rickhogaboam For my intial review, please see:  https://endued.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/book-review-part-3-of-dan-lioys-jesus-as-torah-in-john-1-12-c… […]

  5. […] December 23, 2007 by rickhogaboam Dr. Dan Lioy was gracious enough to expound his understanding of the Old and New Covenants. To see the initial  post my myself, click: https://endued.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/book-review-part-3-of-dan-lioys-jesus-as-torah-in-john-1-12-c… […]

  6. Dan Lioy says:

    “Stand and Be Counted” asks an important question, namely, “Interesting…never who the label Torah for Jesus before. Why not just use the term John uses “the Word of God”?

    As it turns out, on page 10 of my monograph, I address this issue. For instance, in footnote #28, I state the following:

    >>>Cahill (“Johannine Logos as center”) postulates that the “Johannine usage of logos in the prologue” (54) establishes it as the symbolic center of the Fourth Gospel (55–56). As such, it functions as the “revelation of the sacred par excellence” (58). There is a “joining of eternity and time, immaterial and material, divine . . . and human, sacred and profane” (65). Be that as it may, Schoneveld (“A new reading,” 80) cites John 5:38–39, 10:35, and 15:25 to support an amalgamation of “Logos and Torah” (80). In like manner, Reed (“How Semitic was John”) draws attention to the concatenation between logos and tora when he proposes that John 1:1 be rendered as follows: “In the beginning was the Torah, and the Torah was toward God, and Godlike was the Torah” (721). Similarly, he observes that the “written Torah became the living Torah—the Incarnation, Jesus” (726). This one-to-one correspondence between logos and tora is also seen in Schoneveld’s rendering of 1:14, “And the Torah emerged as flesh and tabernacled among us” (“A new reading,” 81).<<>>Keener (John) suggests two reasons why in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel, the Evangelist calls “Jesus the Logos” instead of “the Nomos, that is, Torah” (1:361): (1) a “neutral term like Logos could draw on associations with personified Wisdom already offered in Hellenistic Judaism,” yet “without compromising its bridge to the Torah, which was also recognized as God’s Word,” especially “in Pharisaic circles”; and (2) the Evangelist possibly considered “the narrower nuances of nomos as too potentially misleading to his readers to employ throughout his prologue” (1:362).<<>>According to Wucherpfennig (“Torah,”213–214), the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel not only “presumes that the center of the scripture remains the Torah,” but also that “in Jesus Christ the Torah is revealed in a unique and singular way.” Casselli (“Jesus as eschatological Torah,” 25) builds on this thought by maintaining that the Evangelist “finds in Jesus the eschatological realization of the Exodus” and “the Torah.”<<<

    Dan Lioy

  7. Dan Lioy says:

    Rick,

    Perhaps some of the readers of your blog might wonder the about the possible motivation for the author of the Fourth Gospel to make the notion “Jesus as Torah” a dominant leitmotif, along with Logos, to conceptualize the totality of the person and work of the Son. Perhaps the rationale for John’s approach can be seen in my discussion on pages 9-10 (footnote #26) of my monograph:

    >>>Keener (John) proposes that the Evangelist addressed a “community of predominantly Jewish Christians” who, due to their “faith in Jesus,” had been “rejected by most of their non-Christian Jewish communities.” One can imagine the religious elite of the day making the following claims: (1) Judaism is a “religion of Torah”; and (2) the “prophetic, messianic Jesus movement has departed from proper observance of God’s Word (particularly from orthodox monotheism)” (1:364). The Evangelist responded in the Fourth Gospel with these counterclaims: (1) the Messiah is the “full embodiment of Torah” and completes “what was partial (but actually present) in Torah”; (2) the Son “embodies the hope of Judaism” (1:417); (3) the decision to become a follower of the Savior “entails true observance of Torah”; and (4) because “Jesus himself is God’s Word,” no person is able to “genuinely observe Torah without following Jesus” (1:364). Keener’s proposal helps to explain why, as Whitacre (Johannine polemic, 29) observes, “every explicit dispute in John makes reference to Moses and/or the Law” (cf. 1:17, 45; 2:22; 5:39, 45–47; 6:32; 7:19, 22–28; 8:17; 9:28–29; 10:34–35; 12:34; 13:18; 15:25; 17:12; 19:24, 28, 36–37; 20:9).<<<

    Dan Lioy

  8. Dr. Lioy,

    Thanks for the response and the citations from various scholars that support your thesis…please bear with me, because I still don’t get it.

    Isn’t the Torah only a portion of the OT Scriptures? I guess I don’t see why the apostle John would seek to limit the scope of God’s Word by excluding the Prophets and Wisdom literature. This insistence on advocating an analogy with the Torah in lieu of the entire Word seems to be unnecessarily limiting the depth and scope of Christ’s significance.

    The New Testament authors do not seem to narrow the Christ’s significance to just the Torah. In Luke 24:27, our Lord reveals to the disciples going to Emmaus that Moses and the Prophets pointed to Him. In Peter’s Pentecost sermon he appeals to the Psalms, which pointed to Christ. Moreover, in Acts 3:20-26 Peter appeals to all the prophets from Samuel onward as pointing to Christ. See also Acts 13:32-42; Romans 16:26; 1 Peter 1:10-12

    What is gained by reducing Christ from the entire word to simply a portion of it?

  9. […] December 24, 2007 by rickhogaboam Dr. Lioy offered a response to a very good question from a blogger. The blogger, “Stand and Be Counted”, posted the following in response to my book review of Lioy’s “Jesus as Torah” (https://endued.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/book-review-part-3-of-dan-lioys-jesus-as-torah-in-john-1-12-c…): […]

  10. Dan Lioy says:

    Stand and Be Counted,

    You said the following:

    >>>Isn’t the Torah only a portion of the OT Scriptures? I guess I don’t see why the apostle John would seek to limit the scope of God’s Word by excluding the Prophets and Wisdom literature. This insistence on advocating an analogy with the Torah in lieu of the entire Word seems to be unnecessarily limiting the depth and scope of Christ’s significance.<<>>Schoneveld (“A new reading,” 80) adopts the broad meaning that the Torah refers to what God “revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai.” Even so, Meir (“The historical Jesus,” 55) clarifies that the “very concept of Torah, even the written Torah of Moses, was still in flux at the time of Jesus.” In fact, during the first century of the Christian era, the “list of books accepted as Jewish Scripture was not yet definitively fixed and closed.” Perhaps the presence of textual variants in the wording of the Torah was due in part to the efforts of the “Rabbinic sages” (Nuesner, The perfect Torah, xi) to produce “the most perfect of all possible Torahs” (xii). This “medium through which the one, unique God makes himself known” (ix) was regarded as being flawless with respect to its “legal system,” its “theological structure,” and its “media of expression and analysis” (xii). An examination of the Fourth Gospel indicates that Jesus of Nazareth is the one in whom all these aspects of the written and oral Torah are fully and finally realized (cf. Beyler, Torah, 199).<<>>Neusner (“Rabbinic Judaism,” 11:7583) explains that the word “Tanakh” is “an acronym” identifying the entire Hebrew Bible, which includes the “Torah (Law), Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings).” Throughout this study, the words “Torah” and “Tanakh” will be used interchangeably in reference to the Messiah. This approach is based on the fact that now and then in the Fourth Gospel, the corpus of Hebrew sacred writings is referred to as the “Law” (cf. John 10:34; 12:34; 15:25).<<<

    Dr. Lioy

  11. Dr. Lioy,

    Yes, John may have used the term Law as shorthand for the Scriptures. He also used the term Law and Prophets to refer to the Scriptures in John 1:45. Moreover, he contrasts Christ with the Mosaic Law in 1:17. This contrast isn’t very conducive to the position that is attempting to claim that the relationship between Christ and Law is synonymous.

    One could also turn this around and refer to the Old Testament Scripture as just the prophets, since Moses himself was a prophet. There is also biblical justification for this term by the apostle Paul in Romans 16:25-26:

    25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God to bring about the obedience of faith

    Surely as far as rabbinical scholars are concerned from my humble perspective the apostle Paul is the only authoritative one.

    There is an inherent problem in forcing the Writings and Prophetic literature under the genre of Law. There were no new legislations recorded in these portions of the Scripture. The prophets especially, were covenant lawyers whom God sent to Israel to prosecute the people for the violations of the Mosaic legislation. They did not add to the moral, ceremonial or civil Law. They were used by God to speak His word and to bring the people back covenant fidelity.

    Again, I may be missing the point entirely so forgive my pesky questions. I am just trying to understand the significance of this view.

  12. rickhogaboam says:

    The most recent post by Dr. Lioy didn’t come out as he had intended. This was the intended response:

    Stand and Be Counted,

    You said the following:

    >>>Isn’t the Torah only a portion of the OT Scriptures? I guess I don’t see why the apostle John would seek to limit the scope of God’s Word by excluding the Prophets and Wisdom literature. This insistence on advocating an analogy with the Torah in lieu of the entire Word seems to be unnecessarily limiting the depth and scope of Christ’s significance.<<>>

    In point of fact, within my monograph, I’m not liming the term “Torah” to say, the first five books, or even a subset, of the Old Testament. Rather, it is a much more broad-based conceptual construct that takes into account both the written and oral Torah. For instance, on page 8 of my book (footnote #21), I state the following:

    Schoneveld (“A new reading,” 80) adopts the broad meaning that the Torah refers to what God “revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai.” Even so, Meir (“The historical Jesus,” 55) clarifies that the “very concept of Torah, even the written Torah of Moses, was still in flux at the time of Jesus.” In fact, during the first century of the Christian era, the “list of books accepted as Jewish Scripture was not yet definitively fixed and closed.” Perhaps the presence of textual variants in the wording of the Torah was due in part to the efforts of the “Rabbinic sages” (Nuesner, The perfect Torah, xi) to produce “the most perfect of all possible Torahs” (xii). This “medium through which the one, unique God makes himself known” (ix) was regarded as being flawless with respect to its “legal system,” its “theological structure,” and its “media of expression and analysis” (xii). An examination of the Fourth Gospel indicates that Jesus of Nazareth is the one in whom all these aspects of the written and oral Torah are fully and finally realized (cf. Beyler, Torah, 199).<<>>

    Also, I make this point about the terms “Tanakh” and “Torah”, especially in how I make use of them with respect to Jesus, the Messiah:

    Neusner (“Rabbinic Judaism,” 11:7583) explains that the word “Tanakh” is “an acronym” identifying the entire Hebrew Bible, which includes the “Torah (Law), Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings).” Throughout this study, the words “Torah” and “Tanakh” will be used interchangeably in reference to the Messiah. This approach is based on the fact that now and then in the Fourth Gospel, the corpus of Hebrew sacred writings is referred to as the “Law” (cf. John 10:34; 12:34; 15:25).<<<

    Dr. Lioy

  13. Dan Lioy says:

    As a follow-up to what has been said, I can certainly appreciate the desire to anchor to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures whatever is said about Jesus, the Messiah. My intent in my monograph does include this, while at the same time I seek to clarify as much as possible the broader historical and social context of the first century of the common era, in which the Fourth Gospel was situated and written.

    For instance, the original recipients and readers would have engaged the Fourth Gospel against the backdrop of the Intertestamental literature, various writings of the so-called second temple period of Judaism, and the like. Thus, while a modern-day reader might want to minimize, ignore, or not take into account such information as they study the Fourth Gospel, that eschews what I see as an important aspect of my monograph.

    This is a major reason why the conceptual constructs of “Torah”, “Tanakh”, and the like to which I make reference are more expansive than the way in which “Stand . . .” (and possibly others) might prefer (or approve of). In this regard, note my disclaimer on pages 6-7 (footnote 18), in which I state the following:

    >>>Presumably, some readers might decide against embracing the point of view put forward here. That said, it is beyond the scope of the study to replicate the efforts of others—such as the specialists formally cited in this section—who have offered a detailed and rigorous explanation for the plausibility of the working hypothesis being adopted (in particular, cf. Beyler, Torah; Casselli, “Jesus as eschatological Torah”; Keener, John; Reed, “How Semitic was John”; Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth; Schoneveld, “A new reading”). Instead, the aim is to let the underlying notion of Jesus as Torah in the Fourth Gospel establish a philosophical frame of reference that guides the examination and analysis of the biblical text. <<<

    Dr. Lioy

  14. Was this the response to my last comment or my previous comment?

  15. […] (Judges 16;2 Samuel 11; 1 Kings 11).  He is not intended to be found in the moral statutes of the Law, which are an explicit manifestation of the natural law that is inscribed upon man’s heart.  […]

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