On the Incarnation – Refutation of the Jews, pt.2

This evening we are gathering to discuss Chapter 6 of On the Incarnation (ss. 33-40 – Refutation of the Jews).  In these sections, Athanasius sets forth the reasons from both Scripture and history as to why the Jews should recognize Jesus as the Incarnate God.

The question arises, however, as to whether a Jew or any person can simply read the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) and come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Christ without that person first believing that Jesus is the Christ.  In other words, does an individual have to first have to have faith and know Christ in order to find him spoken about in the Old Testament? In 2 Corinthians 3:14-16, Paul writes that “Their (Jews’) minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant (i.e. the Old Testament), that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.  Yes, to this day whenever Moses is a read a veil lies over their minds; but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed.” For as Paul tells us in Acts 22, although he was educated in the Hebrew Scriptures, he did not recognize Jesus as the Christ until Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Therefore, think about whether faith must precede recognition.  

Dinner is at 6. The menu is pasta e fagioli. Discussion at 6:45. Hope to see you here.

For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand.  For I believe this also, that ‘unless I believe, I shall not understand’.

St. Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion, ch. 1.

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