Memra’, Logos, and the Divine Messiah

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Dr. Brown opens up some fascinating Jewish traditions that help us to better understand Yeshua as the Word made flesh. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments!


Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The Divine Memra’, the Divine Logos, the Word made flesh it’s thoroughly Jewish. It’s thoroughly biblical. It is the way that God made Himself known to the human race, through Jesus, Yeshua, the Word made flesh.



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  1. Thank you for this highly enjoyable program Dr. Brown.

    Just to be clear, it seems your suggesting that the Jewish concept of Memra was more than just a personification but an actual Person.

    If this is true, is this also true for Wisdom, Prudence [Pro 8], the Name [Yoma 3.8; 4.2; 6.2; 1 Enoch—39.7, 9, 13; 41.2, 6; 43.4; 45.2f.; 46.6-8; 47.2; 48.7, 10; etc.], & Glory [Sanh. 6.5; Aboth 3.2; Targ. Onkelos on Ex. 33.14f.; 34.6, 9.] of YHWH?

    Lastly, you say that the Memra/Logos was an “extension/aspect” of God. As we know, the one God of Israel throughout the Hebrew scriptures is defined as YHWH. Does this mean that YHWH was more than 1 Person?

    Thank you.

  2. Dr Brown

    All you say about Memra as a “personification” is fine and well known. But you are making a LEAP when you TURN Memra into “Son of God/Messiah”. Much clearer is Colin Brown at Fuller:

    It is a common but PATENT MISREADING of the opening of John’s Gospel to read it as if it said, ‘In the beginning was the SON. And the SON was with God.’ What has happened here is the substitution of Son with Word, thereby the Son is made a member of the Godhead, which existed from the beginning. Trinity & Incarnation, p 89

    You are doing exactly what your namesake cautions you AGAINST!

    The Memra is indeed a PERSONIFCATION. But this does not help you with a preexistant ‘God the Son’. Thus, the TRUE Jesus not only recites the Jewish Shema [Mar 12.29] but NEVER calls himself ‘God the Son’ or a ‘God-Man’.

    Jesus is what the word [personification & NOT a Person] BECAME.

    Will you please tell us plainly: is the non-negotiable creed of Mar 12.29 a unitarian or trinitarian proposition?

  3. Sir Anthony,

    You’ve had your chances to debate your points with me on radio, and on TV — several hours in fact, not to mention your efforts on this blog — and the evidence is overwhelmingly against you. You can have your glorified man; I’ll follow the glorious, eternal Son of God. (And again, I’ll not renew the arguments here, since not a single point of substance — especially in Hebrews 1 — was ever answered satisfactorily.) May the Lord bring you back to His truth!

  4. This debate about the Godhead gets so technical that you lose the people. You tend to forget about the simplicity in accepting and understanding Christ Jesus. You know Romans chapter 4 says let God be true. So if we will just accept the word of God we will have truth! For example:
    Rom 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
    Act 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
    Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

    Let the word of God define itself line upon line precept upon precept. The gift of the Bible was given so people could make their calling and election sure!

  5. Benei,

    Scripture doesn’t tell us when the Son was begotten; it simply states unequivocally that the Son is eternally preexistent and that the universe was made through Him. (Jesus is declared God’s Son at His resurrection; and there is the sonship of coronation in Ps 2; but as for actual “begetting” — Scrpiture says nothing in terms of “time.”)

    I just spotted your other questions and will try to respond ASAP to your excellent questions.

  6. Dr Brown

    Scripture doesn’t tell us when the Son was begotten

    Just to be clear, you believe “this DAY I have begotten you” [Ps 2.7] refers to a resurrection/coronation?

    If so, could you please show us where else “beget” is used in reference to resurrection/coronation and not birth? As you know beget in the Bible, as in modernity, is ONLY connected to one’s birth.

  7. Dear Michael, thanks, but this is not “MY” view! I am only processing what has been around weightily, though a minority. Nor is Jesus a “mere man” which you often put up as a straw man and then bash it!

    You are surely aware of James Dunn and many others in history. Hosts of liberals did not argue for the Trinity in the Bible.

    Your Memra point was new in the discussion (not new of course in scholarship generally) but Memra is not the preexisting SON/Messiah! It goes nowhere towards a Trinitarian Jesus.

    Your Jewish friends are amazed that you think that Memra gives you a base for a preexisting ‘God the Son’.

    The creed of Israel is not a Trinitarian creed!Jesus was a Jew who affirmed for us all the creed of Israel. Those words in Mark 12.29 do not go away.

    The words of Jesus are our judge, yours and mine.

    Thanks for your interaction and we have all learned much.


  8. Sir Anthony Buzzard,

    1. If we look at John the Immerser’s “He was before me” [John 1:15, 30] this from a purely physical point of view (since [if I understand your position correctly] you say that Jesus didn’t exist as a “sentient being” – i.e.: “the Word is not a Person, Jesus, but the [non-sentient] Word *became* a [sentient] human being – until “the [non-sentient] heavenly Word became [sentient] flesh” on earth), then we have a problem on our hands.

    i. John the Immerser was speaking of Jesus’s existence in a purely physical sense (as you affirm that the Son of God/Jesus truly didn’t exist until His “incarnation” [John 1:14]), and John the Immerser is incorrect about Jesus’s physical existence coming before his own (because everyone knows John was conceived before Jesus was conceived).
    ii. John was speaking of Jesus as a “He” existing (and therefore holding a pre-eminent “rank”) before Jesus’s incarnation (which statement would be accounted together with the rest of John’s allusions to Christ’s pre-existence – “before Abraham, I AM” [specifically, as an answer to “you’re not even 50 years old”] etc.,), and you are incorrect. Why/How else could John say “HE was before me”? A “HE” existing before John’s existence makes your view untenable, since you don’t believe Jesus was a “He” until He was incarnated.

    So, who is mistaken – you, John the Immerser or me?

  9. John 1:1-3 also constantly calls the Word “him”.
    “Panta di’autou egeneto”
    “All (things) through HIM came into being”

    Why does Apostle John call the Word a “HIM” (AUTOU), instead of “it” (TOUTO)?

  10. To be honest, I am still studying greek (I’m not sure if touto would’ve been used in John 1:1-3, or, whether “it” would’ve merely been “implied”, etc.,); I just studied a little more and saw that autou is genitive so it could be interpreted as neuter – however, in context with outos from v2, why do you not see that the autou is a “he”? If autou were neuter, you would think that v2 would’ve been “Touto”, not “Outos”.

  11. Looking ahead in this grammar (BBG), (as I said I’m still learning, so with the little I do know) I suppose “outos” was used because “logos” was masculine – however, in Greek, “natural gender” is not followed; so, this does not necessitate an indication of a “he”.

  12. I just want to share with you what the Word of God said to me in the early morning hours of October of 2008 when I wasasleep. The first message the Word of God said is, “This is the Word of God.” Days later the Word of God spoke to me in the early morning hours and said, “Have Faith and Believe in the Word of God. In the beginning days of November of 2008, the Word of God spoke to me in tge early morning hours and said, “I am the LORD thy God,” minutes later the Word of God said, “I am the Word of God,” minutes later the Word of God said, “I am the Just Judge.” Days later the Word of God spoke to me and said, “Never loose Faith in the Word of God.”

  13. Dan1el

    Thanks, please note: He who comes after me has moved ahead of me because he was always my superior!

    The Trinity people, contradicting MATT and Luke play on the ambiguity of protos!

    Please see our two books and many sources quoted there.

    Preexistence contradicts the accounts of the coming into existence of the SON!

    A non-human Jesus is not the descendant of David.

  14. Mr. Buzzard

    The geneology in Luke, I think ppl state is Marys lineage. That lineage traces back to David also.

    The trinity ppl, state that he is 100% man also. Yes deity, but 100% man also. Even if you remove Joesph lineage, he is still Davind’s ancestor through Mary.

    Unless that is not Mary lineage in Luke. Then we must wonder why does it contradict the lineage listed in the other book

  15. Why is it that to some Christians, Jesus is only a glorified man (whatever they mean by that) to someone who believes his first real existence began in the womb of Mary, but they would never dare to say to someone who believes that life doesn’t exist until birth, that the ‘thing’ that is alive and growing in their womb, or the womb of their wife, is not their son, but simply a wonderful, gloriously fashioned, and becoming fashioned, human being?

    Are they sure Jesus is only a glorified man to some Christians? Are they absolutely sure? What makes them so sure?

    Does God give the Holy Spirit to some who only believe Jesus is a glorified man (whatever that is)such that they will speak in tongues for real?

  16. To say that we are made in the image of God takes on a whole new meaning. I ask in what way we’re made in the image of God of people periodically and get all sorts of different answers. None has yet said that we are made in the image of Jesus as He was also 100% Man as well as 100% Elohim. It makes perfectly good sense to me to realize that He existed eternally as He is, both God and Son of Man, Son of David, Son of God while still being One with the Father. What’s the big deal but that humans were made in His image since He’s the one who made us?

  17. Not a scholar, and happy I’m not. So What do we do with the scripture, “he who believes in Me believes not in Me, but in Him who sent Me”, John12:44, John5:23-24, Matt10:40, 1 John, and throughout the bible. Why debate these people, they are not trying to discover the truth, they have chosen not to believe what is plainly true to their own destruction, I shake the dust off my feet and move on to those eager for salvation.

  18. Ah-ha!! I’ve found the perfect thread for us! Let’s begin discussing some things that we’re in agreement on.

    Ray, Bo, Benjamin and Daniel, and anyone else of course, we should practice preparing our defense in those areas where we agree.

    I’m going to finish up with a couple photo. tutorials this weekend and will dive into this topic after that.


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