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 Illusion of “Truth”: The Real Jesus Behind the Grand Myth
- Book review: The IVP Bible Background Commentary
- Book review: Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession
- Book Review: The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son
- Book review: The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality
- Book review: Augustine for Armchair Theologians
- Book review: Thought in the Absence of Certainty
- Book review: Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World’s Greatest Physicists
- Book review: He Who Has an Ear
- Book review: Powers of Darkness
- Book review: The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters
- Book review: 25 of the Greatest Sermons Ever Preached
- Book review: Handbook of Blblical Criticism
- Book review: Unfettered Spirit: Spiritual Gifts for the New Great Awakening
- Book review: The Brother of Jesus
- Book review: Seismic Shift: From God to Goodness
- Book review: Is Reality Secular
- Book review: The Gospel According to Femigod
- Book review: All You Want To Know About Hell
- Book review: Coffee with Jesus
- Book review: The Making of the Lamb
- Book review: Philosophy for Believers
- Book review: The Certainty of the Unexpected
- Book review: The Question of Canon
- Book review: The Dave Test
- Book review: Worshiping with Charles Darwin
- Book review: Christian History Made Easy
- Book review: Creation Strikes Back
- Book review: Messiah: Origin
- Book review: John’s Gospel: The Way It Happened
- Numbers 6:2, Was Jesus a Nazirite?
- 1 John 4:2, Knowing Whether Instruction is from God
- Luke 14:23, Converting the Donatists
- Psalm 23:4, Thy Rod and Staff
- Romans 8:38-39 Neither Height Nor Depth Shall Separate Us!
- Revelation 3:16, The Lukewarm Church
- Genesis 49:22, Joseph, the Wild Donkey
- Mark 3:27, Binding the Strong Man
- Psalm 96:5, Idols or Demons?
- Revelation 12:1,4 Zodiac and the Bible
- Acts 28:11, Castor and Pollux
- Genesis 4:20, Cain Learns His Lesson
- Acts 8:9, Magic in the Bible
- Amos 9:11-12, Why We Needn’t Circumcise, part II of II
- Acts 15:16-17, Why We Needn’t Circumcise, part I of II
- Proverbs 15:17, A Valentines Day Observation
- Genesis 24:64, The Camel That Wasn’t
- 1 Corinthians 16:22, Anathema Maranatha — Come, Lord!
- Matthew 27:59-60, Boy, Was Jesus Lucky!
- Daniel 12:2, Everlasting Contempt
- Galatians 1:4, What Are We Saved From?
- Genesis 2:21-22, Adam, Eve, and Panentheism
- Matthew 1:18, More on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary
- Luke 2:21-22, Was Jesus Miraculously Born?
- Revelation 20:14, The End of Death and Hades
- Romans 5:18, Adam and Christ
- 1 Timothy 6:16, The Immortal Soul
- John 5:19, The Nature of God
- Romans 9:13, Is God Love?
- 1 Corinthians 3:8, Works vs Faith, according to Paul
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