We know families squabble from time to time. It is not too surprising that when different faith backgrounds read the same document, different questions arise for them and they draw different conclusions.
Matthew 5: 1-2 But seeing the crowds, he went into the mount and sitting himself down, his students came near.
A mount is an archaelogical tell formed from the accumulated remains from mudbricks and other refuse accumulated from over hundreds and thousands of years.
When the rabbi/guru sat down, it was a customary indication that a serious teaching lesson was going to start. The teacher then speaks truth into the hearers’ lives. In Judaism, and later in the Muslim faith, argument and reasoned debate form a mode of divine service as important as is prayer. Shared understandings are the bedrock of hearty discussion on issues of substance, giving the intellect an honoured seat before the texts under study.
The original Koine Greek with translation reads:
1:ιδων δε τους οχλους [But seeing the crowds] ανεβη εις το ορος [he went into the mount] καικαθισαντος αυτου [and sitting down himself] προσηλθαν αυτω οι μαθηται αυτου [his students/disciples came near to him].
2:και ανοιξας το στομα αυτου [and opening his mouth] εδιδασκεν αυτους λεγων [he taught them saying],
Explore the premise that God has a mother, to whom God listens, as the organised Church is wont to teach. There are a few things to consider at the outset: the word “God” is capitalized in the Greek texts when the word begins a sentence. In Hebrew, the word “God” cannot have a capitalization since the Hebrew text is all in uniform block lettering. No capitals. Furthermore, when one seeks a Messiah/Christ motif, we get a resounding “Jesus the Anointed”, the only capitalization to appear outside of people and place names, and the first letter of each sentence. Jesus is more anointed than the average bear, so to speak. As the Anointed one, Rabbi Yeshua had the wisdom to listen to his mother as she guided him along his path, his calling.
It is with these considerations we explore the texts and our belief patterns. How is it that the Christian Church declares that Jesus was God Incarnate, “in our image, after our likeness,” to use the language of the Book of Beginnings, Genesis? This question seems most important during Easter/Passover week.
Some scholars like to point out the plurality of gods in ancient Babylon to explain the godhead plurality in the Hebrew-Greek texts. After all, many people of the Jewish persuasion ended up in Babylon for quite some time. In the old television series Smallville, Clark Kent was suppose to have come from “the house of El,” the plurality of El. Considering it was two Canadians of Jewish persuasion who invented the concept and sold it to the States, it makes all the sense in the world that Superman symbolised a savior to planet Earth. אֱלֹהִ֑ים is the Hebrew for Elohim, a plural noun we find in the first chapter of Genesis, “the house of El.”
I see Elohim as pregnant with positive possibilities and probabilities. In my early church training we received the caution not to anthropomorphize God, not to make God into our own image. This is the image and likeness that Jesus epitomizes: pregnant with positive possibilities and probabilities. In that we manifest this fulness of positive possibilities and probabilities, we too follow the Elohim path. We learn at the feet of the master.
Argument and contention are teaching tools to challenge people’s minds in order to grow into these positive possibilities and potentials.