John 1:51, Jacob’s Ladder in the New Testament
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
//Remember the dream Jacob had, of a ladder resting on earth and reaching to heaven, with angels traipsing up and down the rungs?
Here in John’s Gospel, Jesus promises that one who sees “heaven open” will see the angels ascending and descending upon Jesus, rather than a ladder. Why the rewrite?
Let’s return to Genesis and the story of Jacob. While the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament, written a century or two before Christ) portrays angels ascending and descending upon a ladder, the original Hebrew is not so clear. Some translators say the angels climbed the ladder, others say they walked up and down Jacob. John appears familiar with this latter interpretation, and compares Jesus to Jacob.
Why? My thought is this: Jacob (known also as Israel, the father of the Hebrew nation) is being supplanted. Christ has started a new nation. John sees “Israel” as no longer the Jewish nation but as a new people reborn in Christ. The first nation is forgotten; the new nation of Christians is now in the company of angels.
The Way It Happened
|Revelation: A love story gone awry.||The Gospel: A love story set aright.|
What really happened 2,000 years ago? How did a persecuted minority of end-time believers known as Christians, with their dreams of Armageddon and a conquering Messiah named Jesus, evolve into the largest religion in the world? Author Lee Harmon explores the period in which the New Testament was written in his books about John's Gospel and Revelation.
(Bloggers: you may be eligible for a free review copy! Just contact us.)
The God Show
- Book review: postChristian
- Book review: The Eucharist
- Book review: The Synoptic Problem
- Book review: Lost Christianities
- Come Out of Her My People
- Book review: The Bible Tells Me So
- Book review: We Make the Road by Walking
- Book review: Lincoln’s Bishop
- Book review: Becoming the Son
- Book review: The Beautiful Scientist
- Book review: Healing Marks
- Book review: Make Christmas Real
- Book review: Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most
- Book review: Jewish Christianity Reconsidered
- Book review: Disciples: How Jewish Christianity Shaped Jesus and Shattered the Church
- Book review: Blueprint for Theocracy: The Christian Right’s Vision for America
- Book review: Excommunicating the Faithful: Jewish Christianity in the Early Church
- Book review: STABLE: The Keys to Heaven on Earth
- Book review: Judas of Nazareth
- Book review: Things That Must Take Place: A Commentary on Revelation Chapters 4-22
- Book review: Heretics for Armchair Theologians
- The Miracle Free Gospel
- Book review: Announcing the Scientific Discovery of God
- Book review: Walking in the Moment between Tick and Tock–From Passover to Pentecost
- Book review: The Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth
- Book review: The Big Picture: An Honest Examination of God, Science, and Purpose
- Book review: The Adam Quest
- Book review: Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God
- Book review: How Do We Know? An Introduction to Epistemology
- Book review: Holistic Spirituality: Life Transforming Wisdom from the Letter of James
- John 20:29, Blessed are the Blind Believers
- Psalm 82:6-7, The Gods Will Die Like Mortals
- Acts 16:17, Libertarian Slaves?
- Deuteronomy 15:4, The Poor Will Be Always With You
- Psalms 121:6, Moonstroke?
- Luke 23:28, Weep For Your Children
- Matthew 15:22, The Canaanite Woman
- John 8:6, Jesus Writes on the Ground
- Leviticus 15:16, Baptism By Immersion Or Sprinkling?
- Genesis 3:15, The Seed of a Woman
- Acts 1:12, A Sabbath Day’s Walk
- John 3:6, Born of the Female Holy Spirit
- 1 Chronicles 22:14, Solomon’s Temple Walls
- Judges 20:16, The Left-Handed Advantage
- Deuteronomy 25:9, Your Brotherly Duty
- Leviticus 11:20, An Easy Law To Keep
- Deuteronomy 25:19, Don’t Forget To Forget!
- Genesis 38:28, Zarah Wins by a Hand … but Loses!
- Acts 16:31, The Missing Words In Our Creeds
- Matthew 2:11, The Nazarene from Bethlehem
- Proverbs 14:31, Respect the Poor
- Galatians 2:2, Pauline and Petrine Christianity
- Micah 4:4, A New Economic Order
- Isaiah 55:3, The Hills Are Alive
- Matthew 9:11, The Closed Communion
- Acts 2:1-4, The Day Christianity Began
- Hosea 6:6, Jesus and Animal Sacrifice
- Leviticus 20:13, Homosexuality and the Bible, Part VIII of VIII
- Mark 9:42, Homosexuality and the Bible, Part VII of VIII
- Matthew 8:5-7, Homosexuality and the Bible, Part VI of VIII
Archives By Month
Archives By Category
My Favorite Feeds
- James' Thoughts and Musings
My Blog Is 7!: Today is my blog’s birthday. I started blogging on August 22, 2007. That makes my blo...
- Maphead's Book Blog
Between Friends by Amos Oz: When compared to past years, my consumption of books dealing with the Middle East is definitely down...
- The Bible and Culture
Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Seventy: In Tom’s schema (see p. 1181) Rom. 9.6-29 is seen as parallel in the chiasm to 11.1-32, and so...
- The Religious Left
Our Saturday Moment: By Garrett FitzGerald Originally posted on Holy Saturday, 2012A few years ago, I was privileged to...
- Threads From Henry's Web
Disruptive Inerrancy?: Scot McKnight wrote a very interesting post on inerrancy today. I have long rejected use of the term...
Rendsburg on Genesis and Gilgamesh: Misunderstanding and Misrepresenting the Documentary Hypothesis (Part 1): Doubting the Documentary Hypothesis Back in October of last year I mentioned that I wanted at some p...