Jesus: the Human One
Which version of the bible do you use? Are you a King James person? Do you use the New International Version? Perhaps you have a Living Bible, or the Message. The bible I received for my baptism was a Revised Standard Version. I would later use mostly the New Revised Standard Version. Today I read the newest translation, the Common English Bible.
Choosing your translation is an important endeavor. Depending on what you want you can find a translation that is easy to read, like the Message, or close to the original like the NIV, NRSV, or CEB. A translation also has a theological leaning. There is a reason why you cannot go to a Family Christian Bookstore and find a NRSV. There is also a reason why many top tier seminaries avoid study bibles that use the NIV. Any good translation uses multiple scholars looking at the original text and trying to decide the best English word to fit the Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic word.
I choose the CEB because the translators were trying to accomplish two tasks: use common English to translate and translate as close as possible to original. It is not for people who are traditionalists. You will not find the term 'swaddling clothes' in the CEB. You will also find another term has been translated differently: Son of Man.
When the Common English Bible first came out an email was sent explaining how Son of Man was now the Human One. At first it really bothered me. I grew up calling Jesus both the Son of God and the Son of Man. I didn't realize Son of Man, is a way to hide that Jesus was also the Human One. They really both mean the same thing.
Jesus was both fully divine and fully human. God didn't come just to be a symbolic act. God related personally with us by becoming one of us. I appreciate the CEB because they are not trying to hide the human side of Jesus Christ. Many ministers point to the table turning in the temple to show Jesus' humanity. For me, Jesus' humanity is best seen in relating to Martha's sister, Mary. Mary is heart broken that her brother has passed away and part of her sorrow is knowing Jesus could have helped. In that moment Jesus is humanity: he weeps.
Knowing Jesus Christ cries with me lets me know when things go wrong, when we lose someone close we are not alone. The divine knows and has lived our human form and cries with us.
Jesus is the Son of God, who made the heavens and earth and told the waves of the sea where to stop.
Jesus is the Human One, who weeps for the loses of the world whatever they may be.
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