The Baby Born In Bethlehem Is Yahweh From Eternity

During the Christmas season a subject concerning Jesus always seems to emerge: Is Jesus really God? Is Jesus Yahweh from the Old Testament?

One of the places in scripture where we find both of these questions answered, is in the text of Luke’s Gospel. This highly educated Greek physician, interviewed the eyewitnesses who had been with Jesus since the beginning of His ministry. Luke determined to get the bottom of these narratives to discover if they were really true:

“Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account…” ~Luke 1:1-3

It is clear in Luke’s narrative of Jesus that he did find out whether these eyewitness accounts were true, and he methodically detailed the events that took place concerning Jesus. Luke presents us with an extremely credible account as He is a highly trained Greek physician, accustomed to the inclusion of details and the validation of truth.

One of the assertions made by critics of the four Gospels is the idea that the men who wrote these texts were illiterate. Of course this is impossible to prove, as we have their narratives preserved in the historical record. Anyone who reads these four Gospels quickly becomes aware that they are extreme in their detail and skill, and certain in their eyewitness declarations about Jesus.

Luke spoke and wrote Greek, and he was clearly not illiterate. Luke was capable in helping any of the other writers in composing their texts about Jesus in the elegant Koine-Greek that we find these texts written by.

An intelligent person will realize that by Luke interviewing many of the eyewitnesses who saw and heard Jesus from the beginning of His ministry, he became a historian of extreme importance. Sir William Ramsay—world famous historian and renowned archeologist—describes the statements of the New Testament, regarding the geographical and historical references it makes, as existing without a single error.

“I began with a mind unfavorable to (the accuracy of the New Testament) but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.”[1]

Dr. Ramsay believed, at the onset, that the accounts described in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were inaccurate. Over 100 years ago, he undertook an expedition to Asia, to try and refute the New Testament; only to become so overwhelmed by the evidence, that he became a follower of Jesus Christ.

“Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”[2]

Archeological Accuracy Validates Literary Accuracy

Since Luke’s description of cities, names, places, and customs are perfect in their historical accuracy, it is certain that the accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are also accurate and reliable.

The fact that Luke has been confirmed as a scholarly historian of specific details regarding the history of the first century, it is certain that he also recorded for us, with the same precision, the specific events that transpired concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luke’s integrity as a historical scholar demands that we accept, with confidence, his testimony of Jesus’ resurrection, which is the foundation of the entire Christian church.

As we approach Lukes researched narrative of events that concern Jesus, we do so with confidence in his ability, honest, and accuracy.

The Shepherds and Angels

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Christ (Messiah), the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” ~Luke 2:8-11

Luke presents us with an accuracy in describing who the angels identify Jesus as, that no other New Testament writer states:

  1. The Savior (σωτήρ sōtēr)
  2. The Christ (Χριστός Christos)
  3. The Lord (κύριος kyrios)

This term, “I bring you good news,” is the beginning of the word, “Gospel,” which mean the good news of salvation declared in Jesus who died for the sins of the world. In the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, the deliverance of the Hebrew people is specified in Isaiah 40:9; 52:7; cf. also Isaiah 61:1). This announcement by the angel was the fulfillment of God’s promise in the Old Testament to send a Savior, now known as Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, who is also the Lord, Yahweh from the Hebrew scriptures.

The term, “Savior,” is found in the Synoptic Gospels; with John using this term for Jesus, only once. The Koine-Greek in these instances, means, literally, Jesus is “Christ Lord.” In the New Testament, Jesus is specified as, “Christ and Lord” in Acts 2:36; 2 Corinthians 4:5; and Philippians 2:11).

The term Christ is a Greek designation for the Hebrew, ‘Anointed one’, also called the  Messiah. The Jews of the first century understood the usage of the term, Anointed one, as a designation for the promised Messiah who is predicted by 400 Messianic Prophecies.

The term Lord is used in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, to describe Yahweh-God. The angel specifies that Jesus is Yahweh from the Hebrew scriptures. This was well understood by the Greek speaking readers of the narratives about Jesus that were composed early in the days immediately after Jesus rose from the dead.

This precise text from Luke’s Gospel tells us that the angel who announced Jesus’ birth, made it clear who He is: the Savior God promised, the Christ (Messiah) of 400 prophecies, the Lord-Yahweh, who we see throughout the Old Testament.

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NOTES:

[1] William M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, 1982, page 8.
[2] William M. Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, 1915, page 222.



Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson

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