The relation between Jesus and Elijah or between the book of Kings and the New Testament is one of the most controversial issues in modern theology. As a matter of fact this is also one of the crucial issues regarding the divinity of Jesus. It is also one of the main issues that divide Christianity and Judaism. The main problem arises from the actual term Messiah which in literal translation means the “anointed” one. Therefore many that claim that Jesus was only a human Messiah and not the son of god, put Jesus and Elijah on the same level together with Moses.
Even though the transfiguration of Christ in the second Epistle of Peter supposedly puts Christ above Elijah and Moses, the text does not give such clear evidence about Jesus actually being above them or being the son of god. Coming back to the term messiah or the anointed we should remember that in Jewish terminology Messiah could be any prophet including Moses, Elijah or even David. As a matter of fact in first century Judaism it was more likely for the Jews to expect two messiahs; a political and a spiritual one.
Therefore it was widely speculated that there is a possibility that Barabbas might actually have been the other Messiah and that the account of that was lost during the years while Christianity was an underground religion. The second biggest problem regarding the identity of Jesus and his relations with other prophets is the metamorphosis (or transfiguration) of both testaments by the Nicaene Creed, it is where Jesus was adapted to become the new god of the Roman Empire as it is said: “the time when Constantine the Great tricked the Messianic Jews into worshiping the Roman Emperor in disguise.
” It is actually by comparing Elijah’s and Jesus’ Messianic deeds that we can see the similarity between the two of them. As a matter of fact if one compares 2 Kings 4:1-44 with the Gospels of the New Testament like Mark 6:30-44, Mark 8:1-9, and John 6:1-13 one can notice striking similarities that are too similar to simply be coincidence. (1) In other words they pretty much perform the same miraculous deeds and seem to act and speak in quite a similar way. Is this the way the 1st century Jews expected their Messiah to act and behave.
Both Jesus and Elijah raised people from the dead as well as they provided for the needy on several occasions. (2) (2 Kings 4: 1-44) On the other hand Elijah and Jesus are different to Moses for having gone to heaven while being alive while Moses died as a mortal never rising people from the dead , but the fact that Jesus and Elijah are so similar shows us a precedent in the Old Testament, of a prophet that is so similar to Jesus that it is logical to assume that Jesus is finally only one of the prophets that was god-sent to help his flock in turbulent times and leave a legacy of how one should live her or his life.
(3) If one assumes the original Jesus was a Jewish prophet that was not the incarnation of god himself but a very mighty mortal that finally resurrected from the dead and went to heaven then there is no difference between him and Elijah except the resurrection part, which could be explained by a different will of god or by historic misinterpretation. Nevertheless the main differences between Jesus and Elijah are actually some additions to the personality and life of Jesus that were included to the scriptures to satisfy the pagan populations of Constantine’s Rome.
Like the Virgin birth (proper of Sun Gods like Horus and Mithras) birth on December 24th (4) (proper of Sun Gods like Horus and Mithras), and the resurrection also proper of Sun Gods like Horus and Mithras. Footnotes: 1. 2 Kings 4: 42 A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said. 43 “How can I set this before a hundred men? ” his servant asked.
But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the LORD says: ‘They will eat and have some left over. ‘ ” 44 Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD. John 6: 10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down. ” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted. ” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. Mark 6: 38He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. 39And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. 40And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
41And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. 42And they did all eat, and were filled. 2. 2 Kings 4: 32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy’s body grew warm.
35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said “Call the Shunammite. ” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son. ” 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out. 3. One of the main points of those who argue the humanity of Jesus is that he is no god incarnate and a direct path to heaven that came to reaffirm the rule of the church.
Quite the contrary, his teachings concentrate more on one’s inner struggles in very logical ways rather then the controversial dogma imposed later by the Roman Church. 4. Constantine had to combine the Jewish faith and rituals with Roman sun god faith and rituals in order to make the new religion more understandable to the pagan population of the empire. Therefore the modern Jesus is a mixture of Roman sun God and historic, Jewish Jesus. The Jewish Jesus can raise people from the dead, just like Elijah and can feed many with little food, just like Elijah and finally ascends to heaven alive just like Elijah.
On the other hand Jesus is born of a virgin, unlike Elijah but very much like many Sun Gods, he is born on December 24th like many Sun Gods, he dies and is resurrected like all the Sun Gods, finally, modern Christians do not celebrate the Sabbath like Jesus did but Celebrate the Calends (Sunday) as the Romans did when worshiping their Sun God. Works cited: Bible Gateway, KJV, Books of: 2 Kings, Mark, John. Retrieved on March, 3rd 2009, from: http://www. biblegateway. com/passage/? search Davies, Steven L. New Testament Fundamentals, Santa Rosa, Polebridge Press, 1994.