Friday, December 11, 2020

Isaiah 9 And The Resurrection

I've argued that Jesus set his public ministry in the framework of Isaiah 9:1-2. It's unlikely to be a coincidence that the two places where he chose to live as an adult lined up with the references to Zebulun and Naphtali in Isaiah 9:1 (Nazareth in the region of Zebulun, then Capernaum in the region of Naphtali).

The notion that Jesus set out to align himself with Isaiah 9 is corroborated by how he framed his resurrection appearances. Though he appeared to people outside of Galilee, he singled out Galilee and went out of his way to travel there to appear to his disciples in that location (Matthew 26:32, 28:7, 28:10, 28:16, Mark 14:28, 16:7). Think of a couple of the questions raised by his choice to appear in Galilee and his choice to emphasize the appearance there so much. Why Galilee? And why emphasize it so much, going out of his way to do so, even when he appeared outside of Galilee as well and appeared elsewhere before appearing in Galilee? The best explanation is his interest in fulfilling Isaiah 9. Saying that he made those choices because the beginning of his public ministry was so tied up with Galilee just pushes the question back a step. Why was the beginning of his ministry so tied up with Galilee? And why did he want to emphasize the Galilean relationship so much? I don't know of any explanation that's comparable to or better than his concern for fulfilling Isaiah 9.

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