From the Bible that is rarely read: Baruch 3:35-37

This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob his servant, and to Israel his beloved. Afterward did he shew himself upon earth, and conversed with men. (Bar 3:35-37 KJV)

We know that the personification of Wisdom, an emanation from God, was completed in Jesus Christ, the very Incarnation of God the Father, for Paul calls Christ the Wisdom of God. (1st Corinthians 1.24). Until that time, we have but prophecies pointing to the glorious appearing of our Lord God and Saviour. We read of Wisdom lightly in Job and Proverbs in the Common Canon, but Wisdom is expounded upon thoroughly in the Deuterocanonical books of Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. It is these books that provide a firm Christological foundation not only for the Apostles, but for the Apologists and, yes, even for us. In these books we see a foreshadowing – and for some such as myself, a prophecy – of the economy of God (οκονομαν θεο).

In this passage, we see Wisdom as being they way to the knowledge of God (John 14.6) and this knowledge is given among men. This passage in the Deuterocanonical book was used by both the modalist Noetus and the Trinitarian Thomas of Aquinas to describe the Incarnation.

John Chrysostom says,

It is not then of that we are now to speak, but of this beneath, this which took place on earth, which was amongst ten thousand witnesses. And concerning this again we will relate in such wise as it may be possible for us, having received the grace of the Spirit. For not even this may any one set forth altogether plainly, forasmuch as this too is most awful. Think not, therefore, it is of small things thou art hearing, when thou hearest of this birth, but rouse up thy mind, and straightway tremble, being told that God hath come upon earth. For so marvellous was this, and beyond expectation, that because of these things the very angels formed a choir, and in behalf of the world offered up their praise for them, and the prophets from the first were amazed at this, that “He was seen upon earth, and conversed with men.” (Homily on Mt 2)

In Cyprian’s book ‘Three Testimonies against the Jews’ he quotes this passage, giving it to Jeremiah, when he discusses that Christ is God, applying the pronoun to God, although some modern commentators (Philip Schaff) on the works of the Fathers declare that the Incarnation that is so easily understood by the Apologists to refer to ‘knowledge’. I would tend to agree with the historical and Traditional understanding of this passage would rather disagree with a man many centuries removed correcting the Apostles and Apologists.

Baruch, Jeremiah’s Scribe, spoke about a moment to come when the Word of God, which is the Wisdom of God, would tabernacle with Man, and converse with them. It is the point of Incarnation that Chrysostom spoke so beautifully about, when God came to Man, to make an atonement for the Sin that had plagued Creation since Adam’s Fall.

Further, this passage so rightly illustrates that the Jews were looking for an Incarnation of some type in order for God to converse properly with Humanity once more. The idea that Christianity took centuries to mold the idea of an Incarnation is abated with the mere fact that so many passages, especially those of the so-called Inter-testamental period point to, declare, and insist upon an Incarnation of God with Man.

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0 Replies to “From the Bible that is rarely read: Baruch 3:35-37”

  1. Joel,

    I don’t think any modern or otherwise Christian theologian would say that Christianity or the Church believed that the Incarnation took centuries to “mold” (the Church has never shaped the Incarnation, but only sought to understand it). The Incarnation was and is an Apostolic historic fact! (See 1 John 1:1-4). But certainly our theological understanding did, from the Apologists to the Ecumenical Councils. That the Apostles as Jews received this truth and revelation is most certain. But even they did not fully understand it. This is the process of the whole NT Corpus, and especially the Pauline and Johannine.

    Myself however, I will always maintain that even the NT doctrine had some development. We can see this even in St. Paul’s revelation in Galatians 1:15-18. The Apostle Paul’s mind needed time to think and understand the revelations given to him. This is in and under the sovereign hand of God of course.

    Fr. Robert

  2. Fr. Robert, I should have stated that better. My intention was was to call attention to the fact that detractors of the Faith often sight to little or no evidence of an except divine Messiah or Incarnation. Sorry about that.

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