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: The Question of Canon
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- Book review: John’s Gospel: The Way It Happened
- Book review: Battles of the Bible
- Book review: The End of Apologetics
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- Book review: Revelation: The Way It Happened
- Book review: Mylo
- Book review: The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero
- Book review: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
- Book review: The Gatekeepers
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- Book review: I’m Only Human After All
- Book review: God In Slow Motion
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- Book review: Paul and Judaism Revisited
- Book review: Questioning Your Way to Faith
- Book review: Appletopia: Media Technology and the Religious Imagination of Steve Jobs
- Book review: Minds, Brains, Souls and Gods
- Book review: Invitation to the New Testament
- Book review: Cycles of Salvation History
- Book review: The Problem with Christ
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- Book review: Billy Graham in Quotes
- Book review: Rapture’s Rain
- Genesis 8:7, Why the Raven Failed
- Genesis 9:13, God Gives Us the Rainbow
- 1 Corinthians 10:21, Dining at the Table of Demons
- Hebrews 12:1-2, Laying Aside Every Weight
- James 1:1, James and the Q Sayings of Jesus
- John 9:32: Nobody Can Cure the Blind!
- John 3:5: Born out of Water and Spirit
- 2 Corinthians 13:10, The Severe Letter
- 1 Corinthians 14:11, The Barbarians
- Galations 5:11-12, I Wish the Knife Would Slip!
- Revelation 21:2, The Parousia, part III of III
- Psalm 24:7, The Parousia, part II of III
- 1 Thessalonians 4:17, The Parousia, part I of III
- 1 Corinthians 14:33-34, Women Must Be Quiet In Church!
- Luke 24:2, Why was the Stone Rolled Away?
- Genesis 2:7, Altruism and the Moral Law
- Luke 1:34-35, The Moment of Jesus’ Conception
- Mark 13:14, Pay Attention and Get Out Of Jerusalem!
- Isaiah 5:1, The Lord’s Vineyard
- Romans 16:21, Who Wrote the Gospel of Luke? Part II of II
- Romans 16:21, Who Wrote the Gospel of Luke? Part I of II
- Mark 9:7, The Three-Fold Revelation
- Acts 1:9, Where Did Jesus Go?
- John 1:1, Why Does John Think Jesus Is God?
- Luke 22:38, Two Swords: It Is Enough
- Luke 2:2, The Problem with Quirinius
- Luke 16:11, The Unrighteousness of Money
- 1 John 5:1, Jesus is the Christ
- Judges 6:13, Where are all the miracles?
- 2 Chronicles 24:20-21, Which Zechariah was murdered in the Temple? Part IV of IV
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