Finding Christ in the Old Testament Through the Aramaic Memra, Shekinah, and Yeqara of the Targums
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SubjectTheophanies in the Bible.
Bible. Old Testament. Aramaic.
Bible. New Testament--Relation to the Old Testament.
This dissertation seeks to find Christ in the Old Testament by examining the targumic passages in which Memra, Shekinah, or Yeqara occur as God's agent or manifestation. Chapter 1 demonstrates that scholars view the Memra, Shekinah, and Yeqara as agents for God or manifestations of God even though many scholars reject the notion of Christological implications found in the New Testament appropriation of these terms and concepts. Chapter 2 discusses the close connection between the targumic Memra, Shekinah, and Yeqara and the New Testament by citing clear instances where the New Testament authors appropriated targumic terms and concepts to speak of Jesus. By using targumic terms and concepts, the New Testament authors provided an exegetical method for finding Christ in the Old Testament through Targum. Chapter 3 examines the occurrences of Memra, presenting examples of passages that certainly refer to Christ, do not refer to Christ, and probably refer to Christ. In this chapter, the Memra refers to Christ or probably refers to Christ when the Memra functions as God's agent, carrying out God's work in the world. Chapter 4 investigates the occurrences of Shekinah and Yeqara, but under the influence of the New Testament, nearly all of the occurrences of Shekinah, and most occurrences of Yeqara refer to Jesus. Shekinah and Yeqara are delineated into categories of occurrences that refer to God's manifestation and God's manifestation with agency. Even though most occurrences of Shekinah and Yeqara refer to Christ, some occurrences of Yeqara are a literal translation of the Hebrew and do not refer to Jesus. Chapter 5 concludes the dissertation by tying several themes together to show the consistency and validity of finding Christ in the Old Testament through Aramaic terms and concepts. This dissertation argues that when the Memra, Shekinah, or Yeqara appear as God's agent(s) or as manifestations of God, one may find Christ in those Old Testament passages. One may find Christ in these passages because the New Testament authors present Jesus as the premier agent and manifestation of God using targumic terms and concepts.