Revelation Made Flesh

December 23, 2007 | 9 comments
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Christ was uniquely part divine and part mortal. The Almighty was his father, the woman Mary was his mother.

Christ is called the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Revelation is also called the word of God.

Revelation is from the Almighty and is therefore part divine. It is also part mortal: The scriptures tell us that God speaks to mortals line upon line and according to their language; we filter and express divine inspiration through our own tendencies and inklings. God speaks to us and through us. That’s not the only way that revelation has a mortal parent. The scriptures tell us that we are co-enterprisers in revelation, since it often only comes when we study and ask. Revelation, whether public or private, requires a willing, laboring human host and takes the imprint of that host.

It is not for Christmas alone that the angel proclaims Behold the condescension of God! It is not for herself alone that Mary marvels: “He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.”

[Ed.: revised for clarity]

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9 Responses to Revelation Made Flesh

  1. Ray on December 24, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Fascinating juxtaposition, Adam. I don’t think I’ve considered that comparison before this post.

    Thanks.

  2. Julie M. Smith on December 24, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Great thought. Thanks.

  3. Zat on December 24, 2007 at 4:18 am

    What do you mean by revelation being part mortal?

  4. Adam Greenwood on December 24, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Sir, I edited the post to make my meaning clearer. Here’s the part that explains the way in which revelation is mortal:

    “The scriptures tell us that God speaks to mortals line upon line and according to their language; we filter and express divine inspiration through our own prejudices and understanding. The scriptures also tell us that we are co-enterprisers in revelation, since it often only comes when we study and ask. Revelation requires a willing, laboring human host and takes the imprint of that host.”

  5. Adam Greenwood on December 24, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Merry Christmas, all!

  6. greenfrog on December 24, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Adam,

    Thanks for posting this. I, too, like the connection you make here.

    It prompts a question for me: if all revelation of the divine comes through human mediation/media, is the distinction between human and divine a human concept or a divine one?

  7. Curtis DeGraw on December 24, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    or an evangelical one? *grin*

  8. Brad Kramer on December 24, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    This reminds me of Jim’s fascinating essay, “Scripture as Incarnation.”

    Great stuff, your thoughts as well as Jim’s.

    Merry Christmas.

    [Ed.: “Scripture as Incarnation” in Historicity and the Latter-day Saint Scriptures, edited by Paul Y. Hoskisson, 17-61 (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center Brigham Young University, 2001).]

  9. Adam Greenwood on December 24, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    If you’re in the mood for this sort of thing, you might want to check out this recent post that got mostly overlooked in the Christmas bustle:
    http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=4315

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