Jesus/Godhead

Did Jesus Raise Himself from the Dead?

by Steve Ray on February 14, 2015

Today I received an e-mail with this question:

The other night, in one of the RCIA session for which I am responsible, we looked at Who Is Jesus? In that video, some thing was said that struck a very wrong cord. It said that “Jesus raised himself from the dead.” I had never heard that before.

 I did check out a few things. I looked up the CCC. It does say that because of His divinity, Christ in union with God and the Holy Spirit was raised from the dead (638). However, our local bishop frowned on this statement. My local Jesuit school President frowned on this statement.

Therefore, Steve, is it OK to make that statement that “Jesus raised himself from the dead.” I do know the New Testament has many, many quotes that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. How do I revisit that question with the RCIA participants?

Here is my response: 

It is not a phrase we hear often. We know the Trinity works in harmony and  in union together — in creation, for example. 

We know the Father raised the Son, no issue there. We know the Spirit raised the Son as St. Paul tells us in Romans 8:11 “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (cf. Rom 1:4; CCC 695)

 Regarding the Son raising Himself up I would suggest these verses in the Gospel of St. John: 

John 2:19–21  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”  But he spoke of the temple of his body.”

John 10:17–18  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.”

These two paragraphs from the Catechism are also quite clear.

CCC 648    Christ’s Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of God himself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and manifest their own proper characteristics. The Father’s power “raised up” Christ his Son and by doing so perfectly introduced his Son’s humanity, including his body, into the Trinity. Jesus is conclusively revealed as “Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead.” St. Paul insists on the manifestation of God’s power through the working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus’ dead humanity and called it to the glorious state of Lordship. 

CCC 649    As for the Son, he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power. Jesus announces that the Son of man will have to suffer much, die, and then rise. Elsewhere he affirms explicitly: “I lay down my life, that I may take it again.… I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” “We believe that Jesus died and rose again.”

 

 

 Might I suggest that you get Verbum which is a Catholic and Bible Software program which I “live on.” I’ve been using it for over 20 years. It makes this kind of research a breeze. You can see it at www.Verbum.com/Steve. If you use the Promo Code STEVERAY you will get 15% off. I highly recommend it.

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“You are Peter” in Jesus’ language of Aramaic

by Steve Ray on December 30, 2014

Since we recently visited Caesarea Philippi, the site where Jesus renamed Simon as “Peter” or Kepha (Matt 16:13-20), I thought you would find this interesting.

So, what did it sound like at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus renamed Simon and made him the rock of the Church: “And I tell you, you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18)? Compare this with John 1:42. (Even though the auto link here says it means Peter, it should say “means rock”.)

You know of course, that Jesus did not speak English. If most of us heard Him speak those words today we would have no clue what He was saying. Jesus spoke Aramaic and that language is still alive in very small communities in the Middle East.

Aramaic sm.jpgWhat you see written to the right is Syriac Aramaic as written by my friend Efrem Nissan in Bethlehem. He is a Syrian Orthodox Christian. (Click on the text for a larger image.)

Now, not only can you see the script — which is close to what would have been written in the time of Jesus — but you can listen to it as well. I took this short video clip of Efrem reading the words you see written here. He read them on our pilgrimage. Listen for the word “kepha” twice. Kepha is the word “rock” in Aramaic.

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Jimmy Akin writes:

It’s getting near Christmas, and you know what that means. That’s right! It’s time for another book to be released telling us the sensationalistic “truth” about Christianity.

This time we have The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson.

You may remember Jacobovici from his involvement in previous biblical-archeological shenanigans like the discredited “Jesus family tomb” claims of a few years ago—in which Jacobovici similarly claimed that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

So what do he and sensationalist co-author Barrie Wilson have in store for us this time?

Zecharias Who?

The key text used in their new book is preserved in a set of writings attributed to Zecharias Rhetor (i.e., Zecharias the Rhetoritician), also known as Zecharias Scholasticus (i.e., Zecharistias the Scholar), also known as Zecharias of Mytilene.

He was a native of Gaza who lived in the late A.D. 400s and early 500s and who became the bishop of Mytilene.

He wrote a number of works in Greek, including a work on Church history that was later translated into Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic), with various editorial changes.

It is this Syriac text, brought to the British Museum in 1847, that Jacobovici and Wilson are using in their new book.

Simcha Jacobovici

What They’re Claiming

Among other things, Jacobovici and Wilson claim that they have discovered a lost gospel that is written in code and, when properly decoded, states that Jesus was married, likely to Mary Magdalene, and that they had two sons.

None of this is true.

 Not Lost.

First, the text in question is not “lost.” It is not some newly discovered work that scholars were previously unaware of.

The particular manuscript that Jacobovici and Wilson rely on was brought to the British Museum for more than a century and a half ago, and the same text has been known through other sources for centuries.

The scholarly community has been well aware of it, and translations of it in English and other languages are common.

To give you an idea of how not-lost this work is, it’s been in print for centuries,I have it in my own library, and here’s a version you can read online from a book printed in 1918.

Not a Gospel.

The work is also not a Gospel. Although some scholars use the term “Gospel” in surprising and misleading ways, a Gospel (in the literary sense) is a book about the life and/or teachings of Jesus.

That is not what this text is. This text is not about Jesus. The story it tells is not even set in the first century, when Jesus lived.

It’s set more than a thousand years before the time of Christ.

To read the whole article, click HERE.

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Was Jesus Nice?

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I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me. “That was not very Christ-like.” This response usually comes after being honest to the point of making someone upset.  The implication is that Jesus was a cuddly little nice guy who was always smiling, always accepting with kind words – in [...]

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Temple Sizes Compared – bigger than a football field

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We Looked into the Face of God Today – literally – in Manoppello

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Entering the Empty Tomb; A Contrast – Now and Back Then (our 1st group arriving in Israel today)

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Fewer Believe in the Resurrection

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Percent of Americans Believing in the Resurrection Drops To 64% From 77% Last Easter April 1, 2013 By Dan Joseph A study released by the Rasmussen Reports polling firm on Good Friday found that 64% of Americans believe that Jesus Christrose from the dead. While Americans who believe in the resurrection remain in the majority, that number is [...]

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How Long was Jesus on the Cross?

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Entering the Desert of Lent – but with Joy and the Word of God

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Forty days in the wilderness; forty days of Lent. We are now embarking on the adventure we’ve called Lent since the early centuries of the Church. It may not be fun, but if our spirit is right it can be exciting and rewarding. We may even loose a few pounds.  Jesus left the opulence and [...]

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