How does the Holy Spirit engage with us?
Did Adam take the form of Jesus?
Let’s now return to the beginning of the beginning.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. (Genesis 1:1)
We will start by examining the original Hebrew of this opening statement in the Bible.
B’resheet barah Elohim et hashamayim ve'at ha'arets.
Scholars have spent lifetimes just examining these seven words, but modern man (me included) is cursed with rather shorter attention spans, so I will simply tease out a couple of points, selected to shed further light on our understanding of the Memra, that we have discovered from earlier articles, is Jesus himself.
Firstly, the word barah that translates as created is a singular word. This means that whoever is doing the creating is a single being. That is fine, until we look at what word is used for who is doing the creating. The word is Elohim, meaning God. But Elohim is a plural word, suggesting that more than one agency was involved here. This squares up with our understanding of Memra and, when we consider the next verse, “… and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” We find ourselves with the whole Trinity implied in the first two verses of the Bible.
“Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." (Genesis 1:26)
This verse has provoked much debate, to put it mildly, in both Jewish and Christian circles, as well as in areas where these circles overlap. The key point of interest is the fact that God talks in the plural, “let us make man in our image”. Who on earth (and heavens) is He talking about? On one extreme, some early Jewish translators even purposely mistranslated the words “let us” to “let me”. Others have suggested that God was referring to a “heavenly court” of angelic beings or that he was talking to himself in a sense of chewing over an issue, or that he was using the royal “we”, as in the “we are not amused” of Queen Victoria. The Targum Neofiti, commenting on the next verse (verse 27), says:
“And the Memra of the Lord created the man in his (own) likeness."
Although there is also debate as to what exactly is meant by “likeness” in the above two verses, it is consistent that Jesus, the God who became Man in his incarnation, would have, at the moment of Creation of the first man, provided the template for the physical as well as the spiritual form of human beings.
In other words, the mystery is not God taking the form of man when Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem, but rather that Adam took the form of Jesus, when God formed him from the dust of the ground. Just a thought. Interesting, eh?