The Incarnation Of The Son Of God -- By: Leander S. Keyser

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 085:339 (Jul 1928)
Article: The Incarnation Of The Son Of God
Author: Leander S. Keyser


The Incarnation Of The Son Of God

Its Biblical And Rational Bases

Leander S. Keyser

That the incarnation of the son of God is a Biblical doctrine can hardly be doubted. The language of Scripture is so explicit that it seems to the writer to be capable of only one interpretation. Still, we shall cite a few outstanding passages that teach this doctrine.

Perhaps the classical text is the prologue of the gospel according to St. John. “In the beginning was the Word (the Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things through Him were made, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” The intervening verses can refer only to Christ. Then comes verse 14:”And the Word was made (became, egeneto) flesh, and dwelt among us.” Thus the Logos, who was with God and who was God, assumed human form and nature. For the word “flesh” (sarx) in the New Testament often stands for human nature in its totality. Here it can have no other signification.

The meaning of this passage, therefore, must be that the divine person called “the Logos” assumed human nature and lived a human life here on earth. That spells a true divine incarnation, or in other words, the incarnation of a divine person.

A most significant statement is that of Matthew in the record of the visit of the Angel of the Annunciation to Joseph. Quoting Isa. 7:14, the gospel writer says (although it may be the language of the angel):”Now all this came to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with us.”

Analyze the word Immanuel. It is composed of Immanu, with us, and El, the first syllable of Elohim. And

who is Elohim? It is the first name given to God in the Old Testament. It occurs in the very first verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.” Thus, wonder of wonders! the little child, who was to be born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, was to be called Immanuel, God with us; and it was the God of the Old Testament, who is called the Creator of the heavens and the earth. If that does not mean that Jesus Christ was God incarnate, language can make nothing plain. With this interpretation the prologue of John’s gospel agrees in a wonderful way, for it says of the divine Logos, who afterward “became flesh,” that “through Him were al...

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