Friday, October 7, 2011

More on the 'Eternal Perspective'

I was just reading Benedict XVI, in Jesus of Nazareth (Vol. 1), and encountered a passage of his that seemed to relate to our conversation of the EP. Speaking of the title Jesus uses of himself - 'I am' or 'I am he' - Benedict describes the encounter between Jesus and the Jews on this subject:

"Abraham, Jesus tells us, not only points back beyond himself to God as Father, but above all he points ahead to Jesus, the Son: 'Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad' (Jn 8:56). At this point, when the Jews object that Jesus could hardly have seen Abraham, he answers: 'Before Abraham came into existence, I am' (Jn 8:58). 'I am' - once again, the simple 'I am' stands before us in all its mystery, though now defined in contrast to Abraham's 'coming into existence.' Jesus' 'I am' stands in contrast to the world of birth and death, the world of coming into being and passing away. Schnackenburg correctly points out that what is involved here is not just a temporal category, but 'a fundamental distinction of nature.' We have here a clear statement of 'Jesus' claim to a totally unique mode of being which transcends human categories' (Barrett, Gospel, II, pp. 80f.)." (page 350).

This reminded me of our discussion of the EP as a more-than-temporal distinction. I don't really have further thoughts yet, but I just thought I would post this quote for others to consider.


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