On this question, we will discuss throughout this essay, covering the following issues:
1.- The Septuagint.- Text and authors.
2.- The prophecy of Isaiah 7 in its primary historical context.
3.- Virgin or young woman?
4.- The application of prophecy to the birth of Jesus.
5.- Antecedents that the Son of God would be born of a virgin.
6.- The prophetic reading and its keys of comprehension.
1.- The Septuagint or translation of the Jewish writings into Greek, also called LXX.
The Greek translation, known as the Septuagint, was made between 285 and 246 a.D. in Alexandria, for the famous library of Alexandria at the request of Demetrius, the librarian of Ptolemy II Philadelphus. It is the result of the work of 72 Jewish rabbis (Six of the oldest for each of the tribes, very knowledgeable in the laws, so that they teach us the clearest and most appropriate sense of those books and their careful translation, A. of the Jews XII, II, 4), who worked as a team for seventy-two days, and who took into consideration to be translated those books that were borrowed from them by the religious authorities of Jerusalem, whether or not they were later considered canonical. See Antiquities of the Jews, book XII, chapter II, and the controversial document called "The letter of Aristeas." Josephus states that Aristeas wrote a book relating the process and background of this translation, and cites it as existing in his time ("… you can consult Aristeas, who wrote a book on the subject, paragraph 12), but nowadays nobody can affirm that the controversial document known as "The Letter of Aristeas", is a copy of the authentic book and not a late apocryphal that someone wrote following the mention of Josephus.
In addition to the linguistic support that could be lent to them by Alexandrian scholars, the Greek language was well known to the participating rabbis and a second language in Palestine since the hellenization carried out since Alexander the Macedonian, especially by the political settlement of his successors, which they turned Greek into the official Mediterranean language.
On the nature of this translation, I will now incorporate some paragraphs from the work The Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible ("Introduction to the history of the Bible"), which is an exhaustive compilation of the postures of textual criticism, performed by the eminent Dr. Trebolle Barrera (Member of the International Committee for the edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls, author of several books of textual and literary criticism of the Bible, Professor of the Department of Hebrew and Aramaic Studies, Director of the Institute of Sciences of the religions of the U. Complutense of Madrid, Doctor in Semitic Philology and Theology, Degree in Pure Philosophy and Biblical Sciences and élève honoraire de l'Ecole Biblique de Jerusalem), who writes:
"If from the point of view of textual criticism the LXX version sometimes reflects a Hebrew text different from the TM (Masoretic text), from the point of view of the targum interpretation and the history of religion, the version of The LXX is a reflection of both the theological ideas and the hermeneutical tendencies of Judaism at the time. The version of the LXX is a true work of Jewish exegesis, sometimes comparable to a Targum. (Fränkel, Prijs, Seeligman, Gehman, Gooding, Le Deaut, etc.). The theological tendencies of the Greek version appear with clarity in freer versions such as that of Isaiah or Proverbs that more resemble a Jewish Hellenistic midrash than a true translation into Greek from a Hebrew flamante. "
"The translation of Isaiah is very free. It is not barely usable for the criticism of the Hebrew text of this book. It represents, on the contrary, an inestimable source of data for the study of the ancient Jewish exegesis, since it is based on exegetical traditions that appear later in the Targum and the Pesitta. The frequent quotations from Isaiah's text in the NT and in Christian and Jewish apologetics give this translation added value. "
Later he adds:
"The numerous and significant coincidences existing between LXX and Hebrew manuscripts of Qumrám, has revalued the testimony of the Greek text against the prevailing currents in the epoch previous to the discovery (1947), which considered the Greek text devoid of critical value and very valuable in change as testimony of the contemporary Jewish exegesis of the time of translation. "
That is to say, if on the one hand the estuary of the critics agreed that it represented a faithful reflection of the Jewish thought of its time now, from the comparison with the manuscripts of the Essenes, it is also recognized as a very accurate and reliable source of the flamante text. This confirms Josephus' affirmation in the aforementioned chapter, paragraph 13, where he says that "with all attention and zeal they undertook the task of translating the law".
Undoubtedly, the participants were the best experts who could then be found in Palestine to carry out this undertaking commissioned by the king himself for the most brilliant and cultured organism of all ancient history, the Library of Alexandria. But in addition, the result was later subjected to various revisions to adjust the language and style, and when there was a difference, accommodate the Greek text as promptly as possible to the content of the proto-Masoretic Hebrew, in a process that is called "recension".
After the completion of this work, various fantastic legends arose among the Jewish communities, mainly located outside of Palestine. Some of these legends affirmed that each one of the rabbis translated the complete text of individual form, offering like result seventy two exact copies, which was signal of a divine prodigy that turned that translation into an inspired and infallible version. But it can be deduced that none of this had true extension at least in Palestine and in the times of Josephus (first century AD), who does a fairly extensive story, without mentioning any of it as a belief of his time. So, these types of stories should only be attributed to late popular fantasy.
This Greek translation was extended profusely by the Jewish communities located outside of Palestine, where many Jews, who no longer knew their national language, Hebrew, were conocido with the Greek version more accessible to their language, being also the only one they could comprehensibly access the proselytes of Judaism (pagans converted to the Jewish religion). This was so important that when New Testament authors quote passages from the Old Testament interspersed in the texts of the Gospels or the epistles, they did so on the basis of the text of the LXX version. The most likely reason for this was to make it easier for the stream of believers in Abraham's faith (Jews of the Diaspora or Gentile proselytes) to read the text in the same textual version to which they were accustomed and whose fragments many of them knew about. memory, avoiding causing a probable confusion between them if they used the Masoretic version of the texts, since it was unknown to the river of those who lived in Gentile lands, even though the authors of the new testament, like Palestinian Jews and Jesus himself, were personally much closer to the Masoretic text. They simply acted with the same criteria as we do in such circumstances. For example, when I deal with biblical issues with a Roman Catholic, I use the translations closest to their surroundings, Nácara Colunga, Jerusalem, P. Petisco, Scio, etc. so that he can follow me more easily in the exhibition, through the texts he has, or with those he is more conocido with, including those who give a credit and trust, than if he used a Protestant version.
But for believers, after all, the word of God is Jesus Christ, and the words of his revelation are spirit and life (John 6:63), and not the mere letter that kills (2 Corinthians 3: 6). ). There is no essential doctrine that is based on a single hallarse or word, but must be based on different texts and contexts. Furthermore, for those of us who believe in Jesus Christ as God, they are based on the work that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in the believer. Although for those who do not believe, much of this is meaningless and always tend to consider us as attached to the letter, and so they are constantly erre que erre looking for three feet to the cat with a word or a letter.
2.- The prophecy of Isaiah 7 in its primary historical context.
The oracle we are dealing with, in the context of its presentation, arises in circumstances of anguish for the kingdom of Judah, which is besieged by an alliance of powerful enemies: the king of Syria and the king of Israel, who have defeated the battlefield to his army causing a tremendous death. The rest of its surviving forces have taken refuge in the hacienda, Jerusalem, whose walls have so far resisted the attacks. But bad news is still coming that tells of an alliance of enemies with the inhabitants of Efraim, to constitute an even stronger confederation, to end the resistance, annihilate them and thus conquer and divide the territories of the kingdom of Judah. On the military level, that powerful coalition would surely defeat the diminished and fatigued forces defending the city. This bad news brought unease to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Then God wants to reassure the population and show that the situation, however desperate it may seem, is under their control. Isaiah accompanied by a son of his, called Sear-jasub, because his name has a connotation of hope, meaning "a remnant will return", is sent to meet with King Ahaz, who reigned in Judah from Jerusalem, with the promise that they would not be completely destroyed. This son of Isaiah has nothing to do with the other child that we will talk about later and it was a child that was the fruit of a previous or even current marriage, since polygamy was then común and frequent, and so men married several women throughout his life.
The message of the prophet announces a surprising and unthinkable, in military and human terms, salvation of Jerusalem, as well as the future disaster for its enemies. The message not only affirms the result, but establishes a period of time for it to happen, and is based on the granting of a signal: The time that would elapse between the moment of prophetic revelation and that in which the woman committed to be Isaiah's wife, was still single in her father's house, and therefore was a maid, became the wife of Isaiah, conceived and gave birth to a son, whose nickname would be Emmanuel, which means God with us. For before that child had an age to discern (probably began to know and distinguish the objects by name), Jerusalem would be freed from the enemies who besieged it.
In chapter 8, Isaiah says that after receiving the oracle he went to look for witnesses of the countdown of the deadline to the priest Uriah and Zechariah, in whose presence he contracts the betrothal, joins the one that, now, ceases to be called " the maiden ", to be renamed as" the prophetess ", wife of the prophet, that is, the wife of Isaiah who in this capacity receives the title. (Notice how the name has changed with the one that refers to it.) In Isa. 7:14 it was still "maiden", "'almah", but now in Isaiah 8: 3 it is already "nbiy'at". It has two meanings: a) in its own description, prophetess, a woman prophet, and b) in association, a prophetess in the sense of a woman of the prophet. Here it is clearly the second because the woman has no prophetic intervention as recorded, but the prophet is clearly Isaiah). And she who conceives and gives birth to the prophesied child.
3.- Virgin or young woman ?.
No matter how much the critics turn on, the Greek language was not as poor as they claim to attribute, as to understand that the language did not have a good number of synonyms that were used interchangeably in the colloquial language. Some, as in this case of virgin, maiden, wench, unmarried but committed, do not need to make specific references of a sexual nature, so that the reader then understood perfectly what the term could be deduced, because they were not applied in the LXX , in relation to any woman whose condition was of mother, married or widow.
For example, the Greek word parthenia, used in Luke 2:36, also has the meaning of singleness, referring to the time that Ana had been married and lived with her husband for seven years after her bachelorhood, from the end of her stage virginal. Because the current thing when contracted marriage was to understand the sexual consummation, and therefore the conclusion of the virginity, without the reader begins to question if the author has the physical constancy that at that moment was when he stopped being physically virgin. There are many meanings that have implied connotations. The Greek Parthenia, virgin, is equivalent to single and parthen to single, in which cases the state of chastity and virginity is understood, being the normality in chaste terms of the single. In Hebrew, the word bthuwlah, explicitly highlights the sexual condition, so that bthuwliym specifically means virginity, but the term was used to also denominate single women, in the sense of "maidens", implying sexual virginity. However the most frequent word was "na'arah", but not the only one, because with the word "'almah", which is the one that appears in Isaiah 7:14, and which is also used in Gen. 24:43, for Rebecca, and a little later in 24:57, it has the same context as "na'arah", which means that they were normally used as synonyms, and came to mean an unmarried young woman, with the sexual implication State represented.
However, the root from which "'almah" comes means "secret or hidden", which has the clear connotation to the veil that young women used when engaged in marriage, to be preserved from the sight of other men , meaning that they were not free, but that they had an adjudicated husband, and this was true even when the betrothal had not been celebrated, something equivalent to what we call "requested" in our culture.
In Solomon's Song of Solomon, chap. 6 vers. 8. The author also uses the word "'almah" in the same sense to refer to maidens who were engaged in marriage, but who had not yet celebrated it. The passage is very curious, because it mentions three classes of girls: Those who were queens, married to the king, although they would not stop being young women, (they married from the age of twelve), but they are not called " 'almah'; the concubines, which would undoubtedly be young women, but they are not called "almah" either, because they were no longer maidens in the sexual sense of the word; and the third group, which is called "'almah", because it refers to other young women who were engaged to be the king's wives, although probably expecting to reach the age of contracting the marriage that was arranged and that in the sexual aspect They were obviously virgins and had not known her husband sexually. In any case, no one would present problems for the Greek translation of this text in the LXX, nor would enter into any debate on this issue, but for the connotations of the quotation of Matthew attributing to the birth of Jesus the prophetic fulfillment of the content of the sentence, although the basis, as we shall see later, is not at all relevant, for the punishment and ridicule of the critical scholars who become entangled in their science.
So, when the LXX translation was prepared, no one was surprised that the Greek word used to translate "'almah" was "parthénos", because it meant virgin and was applied as a synonym of maiden, single young woman, engaged in marriage, but woman who does not know a husband sexually The word was perfectly unquestionable for more than 400 years, even though the LXX text, as we have said, underwent several revisions. After the second century AD, and more known, several revisions of the text LXX were made, both by Jews (Aquila, Sínmaco and Teodoción), and by Christians (Origen, Hesiquio and Luciano). It is not time to enter into the process of them, but in the question relative to the change of that word.
When the Christian propagation had magnitude and the theological disputes with the Jews who remained in their form of religion, centered the advent of the Messiah, in the person and figure of Jesus of Nazareth, the theme of his providential birth was also extended, through a young maiden, or virgin, as one wishes to use, who had not known a man, and his allusion to the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. In the second century AD, a Jew named Aquila prejudiced by the Christian question prepared a Greek version of the LXX in which he replaced those terms that had acquired Christian connotations. As the hyperarousal currents from paganism, began to have weight in the Christian communities of the second century, and many Christians began to make a great emphasis on the question of virginity as a more spiritual and holy state than motherhood, appealing to virginity of Mary, and this quotation from Isaiah, mentioned by Matthew, that confronted the historical thought of the Jewish people who had always considered motherhood as the maximum dignity that a woman could attain, that fulfilled God's will to procreate and fill the earth (Gen. 9: 7, Jer 29: 5-7), Aquila changed the word "parthen" to "neânis" (young woman), but simply because of prejudice because of wanting to remove scriptural strength from the argument of Christians and not so much because the birth was not virginal. This question of Jesus Christ being God, who became man, both now and then is a question of faith, which can be accepted or not. But the purpose, I insist, was to try to eliminate plot references to Christians about the sacred texts of the Jews. In the same way, for example, where the Hebrew Mashiyach (Gr. Khristos, anointed) said, he translated Eleimmenos, thus eliminating the term Christ from the Old Testament.
4.- The application of prophecy to the birth of Jesus.
The people of Israel had a certain but inconclusive expectation of the birth of the "Netser", the Vasstago of Yishay (Isaiah 11: 1). This was a promise widely accepted by the Jews because it was implicit in many earlier ones since Genesis. That "seed" ("zera") of a woman (not of a man), that would strike the serpent in the head "(Gen. 3:15), which Paul affirms writing to the Galatians that was fulfilled in his time (Gal. : 4) in Christ Jesus. But due to the prophetic language, of which we will speak later, some groups appropriated it to their leaders, like the Essenes to their Master of Justice, others to certain rabbis, and some like that Judas of Galilee, who rose at the time of the census, to themselves (Acts 5:37). Others did not speculate on the times or characteristics, and still others mixed the prophecies with more or less sensible ideas of the different schools of rabbis.
But it is precisely from the ministry and preaching of Isaiah that the rabbis seek and find the character clearly, which then continues to be present in the other prophets (Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Micah, Hosea, etc.). In such a way that this figure became an important part of the expectations that both Jews (Herod calls his counselors to find out where the scribes understood the expected Messiah would be born) and Samaritans (the Samaritan woman in his conversation with Jesus mentions the belief of his people at the coming of the Messiah) they believed it. Shortly before Jesus began his ministry another important personage emerged, John the Baptist, preaching in Judea, and his preaching reaches an important relevance in his time. He announced that behind him came one who surpassed him in power and who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Mark 1: 7,8). And he applied to himself the prophetic words of Isaiah: The voice of one who cries out in the desert. Prepare the way of the Lord. (Mt 3: 3) Thus, many Jews at that time were eagerly waiting for its fulfillment. And even today the Orthodox Jews, who do not accept the New Testament, based on the contents of the Old, continue waiting for it because of the Jewish tradition rooted in the prophets.
Isaiah had written the most concrete of the question in chapter 9: 6 and 7, as a child ("yeled") who is born and is, among other things, God the Strong ("gibbowr 'el") and the Eternal Father (" Ad ab "). But in the idea of the Jews after the prophetic era, there is no uniform thought about the data related to this character, because his reading is not so simple, anticipadamente, and also is presented intentionally as confused: Sometimes it is God and others, man. A prince, and other servants. Sometimes he is a priest and in others he is a victim. Sometimes it reigns and sometimes it dies. Thus, they did not have a clear awareness of the identity of the Anointed, nor of the time in which it was to appear, but that does not mean that it did not form an essential part of the religious convictions of the people of Israel. Something similar happens now with the promise of the advent of Jesus Christ that Christians await. We do not know when, or how, but this does not mean at all that it is not one of our fundamental doctrines, nor that we do not live in the expectation that it could happen at any moment.
Jesus of Nazareth was born in exceptional conditions but they are reduced to a minimum group of witnesses. And time passes. Jesus develops as a man and prepares for his ministry from the normality that he has designed to carry out until the time is reached when he must begin his ministry and the fulfillment of the mission he came to perform. It is not now time to expand on the "kenosis" of Christ, although it is a trascendental issue for the understanding of many aspects of his ministry and mission. When Jesus begins his ministry announcing in himself the fulfillment of a prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 61: 1,2) a great stir arises. At that time his disciples still do not know him.
Later Jesus calls and instructs his disciples, and by means of providential works, he shows them miracles and an flamante message of good news, the gospel of the kingdom, as well as his identity and the work he is about to carry out. However, when he reaches three years of ministry, those men still do not have a clear record of what Jesus Christ represented in the context of the Old Testament prophecies. They believed that he was the Messiah of God, but they ignored many of the keys to his ministry because Jesus could not tell them clearly until they were finished.
Jesus said to the Jews: Search the Scriptures … because they bear witness of me (John 5:39). He did not say read, but he sought, he scrutinized, he investigated, but he could not reveal to them the keys of prophetic interpretation so that they could understand many of them. Until the moment of Jesus' death, I do not believe that any of the disciples had a clear prophetic awareness of the events they had experienced so closely. It was only when Jesus was resurrected that he explained to them in detail the prophetic content consummated in him. The first magisterial lesson of prophecy was given to the disciples who were on their way to Emmaus, explaining clearly, now, everything that had been fulfilled. Was not it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things? And beginning from Moses … he interpreted to them (diermeneusen autois) what the Scriptures said about him, It is necessary that all the things that are written of me be fulfilled in the law of Moses, in the prophets and in the psalms, Luc. 24:44. Jesus teaches them how and where to find those texts that they certainly knew, and that referred to him, even if they were hidden in past stories.
Probably because of the result of that singular and magisterial lesson we find the origin of this quote that Matthew years later incorporated in writing his Gospel. How their eyes were opened! Matthew, like the other disciples, sees the clear prophetic record of the birth of Jesus in the Scriptures. Also in the appointment Is. 7:14. Now you can understand how the providential birth of Jesus Christ had to be as it happened. Not because it was anticipated in Isaiah, but because it was anticipated in Isaiah because it was planned to be so, even though some of its keys were hidden in the midst of contemporary stories to the prophet. The prophetic emphasis of this text is, not on the question of the mother, who is accessory, but on the person and figure of the Son (the Scriptures give testimony of me), which is the center and object of the revelation. The key was that a child who would be called Emmanuel, who means God with us, or God is with us. It does not mean that that would be his first name, but that child would be called that because of his role, because it embodies the hope of salvation that God will consummate. A child who arrives in a moment of anguish and despair to bring news of hope and great joy, the news of the liberation of those who were condemned to death, as well as the defeat of their enemies. The fact that so much this child would be called Emmanuel, for others, does not replace the first name, which in the case of the Savior was Jesus (Mt. 1:21, tr. Greek of the Hebrew yehôshûa ': Jehovah saves, "because He he will save the people from their sins "), as well as in the son of Isaiah was Maher-shalal-chash-baz (Is. 8: 3," Hurry to the spoil, hurry to the prey ", because the enemy would be defeated imminent form and the oppressed people could pick up the spoils of the oppressor).
Matthew, in the same way that happens to Christians would be surprised to find that the quote, in addition to the child, contains in its textual writing singular connotations of his birth: as announced to his mother when she was still a single woman although espoused, (not yet united to her husband) as in the case of Maria: But also the accuracy of the fact in a sentence that was written several centuries before by someone who saw in the text only a historical account "the virgin or the maiden will conceive. " When translated to the birth of Jesus it is surprisingly igual, exact and concrete, in its application to the mother of Jesus, to Mary, who according to the expression, not only Greek, but also Hebrew: tries as a young virgin promised to her husband , before joining in marriage, he receives the promise of conceiving a child. (The difference is that in the historical case, that of the woman of Isaiah, the prophetess ceased to be a virgin and conceived her son from her husband after their marriage, but the surprising thing is that a phrase that in linguistic terms would seem absolutely común , and went unnoticed within a historical text, and by the test of the rabbi experts who prepared the version and its later correctors, it was only questioned years later when it was made public in the Gospel of Matthew and attending to theological prejudices).
Shortly after Jesus explained the prophecies, the preaching of the disciples begins at Pentecost, and Peter announces to the caudillo surprise the fulfillment of other prophecies, of Joel (Acts 2: 17-21), of the Psalms (cf. 2: 25-28; 34 and 35; 4:11; 4: 25-26), from Deuteronomy (Acts 3: 22-23) of Genesis (Acts 3:25), in a totally different form and style For example, Essene exegetical commentaries, found in Qumram, unbefitting someone rude and illiterate like the Galilean fisherman. Later, that exegesis of prophecy is found in Stephen speaking before the council (Acts 7). And from that same perspective of prophetic fulfillment, Paul also preached years later (Acts 17:11, 28:23). And they do, undoubtedly, all those who were scattered by the persecution and took that "Camino" wherever they went. Where had those knowledge and wisdom come from, those ignorant Galileans with no letters? (Acts 4:13) It is obvious, from the magisterial lessons received from Jesus Christ, after his resurrection.
Without this, it is unlikely that Matthew would invent something like assigning this text of Isaiah to the birth of Jesus, without knowing that it was going to be a controversial issue, especially when it was not a trascendental issue in the context of Christ's message for salvation. it is through faith. The Gospel message considers it essential for man to feel sinful and to see in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes the sin out of the world, charging on his innocent being the punishment we deserve as guilty of sin. The theme of Isaiah is not essential for forgiveness, or for salvation. It is irrelevant to believe that Mary was a virgin or not, but that Christ bore the punishment that our sinful condition deserved, and that gratuitously, by grace and through faith in his name, he grants forgiveness and salvation to everyone who believes. In fact, by introducing the quote, Matthew exposes Christians to the bitter criticism of opponents, who scoff that Jesus is the son of an adulteress. Pero esta consecuencia no es ninguna novedad, sino poco que ya estuvo presente durante el profesión de Jesús, como vemos en Jn. 8:41, y vemos como los judíos le acusan de ser hijo de fornicación y no tener padre (conocido).
5.- Antecedentes de que el Hijo de Dios nacería de una casto.
Frecuentemente los críticos del cristianismo nos vienen contando historias de cómo eso del principio del hijo de un dios engendrado de una casto es, en efectividad, un historia mitológico que está presente en la mitología de numerosas culturas. Y nos lo dicen con la boca llena, en son de desprecio. Así nos mencionan que Persas, egipcios, sirios, griegos, romanos, hindúes, aztecas e incas compartían tradiciones en las que un dios hacía que una madre casto tuviese un hijo para cumplir un papel de mediador entre el dios y los hombres, y sería un salvador para los hombres. Y nos recitan a Tammuz, Buda, Krishna, Horus, Osiris, Zoroastro, etc. etc. Yo estoy perfectamente de acuerdo en ello, porque evidentemente este evidentemente es un argumento de peso para la postura cristiana.
Acepto y comparto que hay unos sentimientos universales en todas las culturas que revelan claramente un pasado popular. Así, nuestra fe no alcahuetería de poco imaginado ó inventado por judíos hace dos mil primaveras, sino que mucho ayer, por toda la tierra, en los imperios y en tribus remotas, en todas las civilizaciones, y en diversos continentes hay en los hombres la conciencia de que hay un Dios Creador, de que el hombre es pecador, de que Dios tendría un hijo concebido de una casto para defender a sus criaturas, de una vida trascendente a esta efectividad física, etc. Y los críticos solo nos muestran poco más de una docena de ejemplos, porque no tienen evidencias y rastros documentales de muchas más culturas y civilizaciones, porque, si los hubiesen hallado, encontraríamos docenas de otros ejemplos donde están presentes semejantes conceptos.
De la misma modo hay una tradición de un diluvio universal extendido en todas las civilizaciones y culturas remotas a lo amplio y encantado del mundo y algunos investigadores han opuesto más de 100 historias locales antiguas relativas a este evento.
También es cierto que cada civilización fue incorporando a estos conceptos básicos y originales, transmitidos de gestación en gestación. Toda una desemejanza de adornos y desviaciones provienen de sus particulares realidades, del progreso de su conocimiento y de los sistemas religiosos propios en forma de doctrinas. Muchas veces incurren en el disparate ó en la presunción más fértil. Pero nadie puede desmentir que evidentemente esa efectividad evoca un origen popular y no retirado, como la Biblia dice que tenemos los seres humanos. Evoca la existencia de una tradición pasada de padres a hijos de un conocimiento popular primario, aunque sea cierto que los adornos añadidos con posterioridad hacen que en muchas ocasiones se conviertan en historias pintorescas e inverosímiles. Pero este origen tan popular da peso a que en todas las culturas, además en la judaica, se asumiese que el Mesías, el Hijo de Dios, cuando naciese lo haría siendo engendrado en una mujer que no conocía hombre, es aseverar, casto.
La ojeada profética y algunas claves para su comprensión.
A lo amplio y encantado del mundo y de la historia ha habido numerosas religiones teístas. Algunas monoteístas, otras politeístas, fruto de un concepto primario y flamante que los cristianos entendemos, de que Dios es uno y varios a la vez (Yehovah ‘elohiym ‘echad Yehovah). La perversión de este principio por la imaginería humana, ha transmitido origen a las falsas religiones e idolatrías. “Porque habiendo conocido a Dios, no le glorificaron como a Dios, ni le dieron gracias, sino que se envanecieron en sus razonamientos, y su necio corazón fue entenebrecido. Profesando ser sabios, se hicieron necios, y cambiaron la goce del Dios incorruptible en relación de imagen de hombre corruptible, de aves, de cuadrúpedos y de reptiles. Por lo cual además Dios los entregó a la inmundicia, en las concupiscencias de sus corazones. (Romanos 1:21-24). Pero yuxtapuesto con estas religiones, ya digo teístas, casi desde el principio ha actuado otra clase de fe, las religiones ateístas, del NO DIOS, que es ciertamente tan poliforme en sus planteamientos como las teístas, y compone igualmente aquellas un heterogéneo paisaje.
Las religiones de esta clase han proliferado enormemente en los últimos siglos. Estos tipos de religión tienen además sus profetas, sus comentarios exegéticos, sus formas de doctrina. Son igualmente proselitistas, y muchos de sus seguidores se dedican con auténtico celo y ferviente fe a servir a su religión, y a la extensión de su credo. Presentan a sus líderes más relevantes, aquellos que de ellos han escaso más preeminencia en el mundo de la imagen, de la ciencia y de la historia, y los citan con el mismo orgullo y fe que los cristianos citamos a los grandes hombres de la historia cristiana.
A veces, para los creyentes, no nos es practicable comprender porque razón estás personas, que aparentemente no tienen una fe religiosa intentan activamente infiltrarse aquí y allá entre los creyentes para destruir y socavar los principios de la fe de otros. Es simple. Porque son militantes de otra religión, y como tales actúan. Ya el salmista se preguntaba: ¿Por qué se rebelan las gentes y los pueblos piensan cosas vanas? Se levantarán los reyes de la tierra y príncipes consultarán unidos contra Yehovah y contra su Mesías diciendo: Rompamos sus ligaduras y echemos de nosotros sus cuerdas. (Sal. 2:1-2) Y en presencia de esto añade: El que mora en los cielos se reirá. El Señor se burlará de ellos, (v-3).
Así pues, esta parte final de mi artículo no va destinado a los militantes de ese credo, sino a cristianos, aquellos que creemos en Cristo Jesús como el Mesías y Salvador de la promesa edénica. Nosotros creemos y aceptamos que Dios, ha hablado muchas veces y de muchas maneras en el pasado a nuestros antepasados por los profetas, (Heb. 1:1), y ahora estamos tratando alguna de ellas. Unas fueron más claras, otras fueron suficiente oscurecidas en su momento. En ocasiones la profecía corresponde a un idioma de tipos (La Pascua, el Tabernáculo, el Maná, la serpiente del desierto, Moisés, la esclavitud en Egipto, David, Ciro, etc.). En otras esa revelación estaba oculta en un relato histórico, pero con una proyección profética futura.
Muchas de las profecías bíblicas pertenecen a esta forma. Esto es muy extenso pero intentaré ser conciso. Sigo escribiendo para creyentes cristianos que entienden que desde la creación de las cosas hay un conflicto. Que Dios tiene un plan inteligente y coherente, como lo son todas sus obras y actos, y que está desplegando con vistas a un desenlace de dimensiones eternas. Pero que a su vez, además tiene un adversario que se opone. Esta lucha, que para nosotros es invisible, tiene mercancía y consecuencias visibles que nos afectan como personas y a nuestra efectividad. Y Dios trabaja para que ese adversario no frustre sus proyectos, sino que adicionalmente aprovecha sus movimientos para cumplir con Su plan previamente trazado.
Paralelamente se comunica para informar y tranquilizar a “los suyos” que viven en el radio del conflicto. Algo parecido a lo que un país en combate hace para comunicarse y transmitir información a sus agentes que están en medio de la nación enemiga, para que resistan, ó para que actúen, etc. Esta información se envía codificada y oculta en medio de otra mucha información, que está al ámbito tanto de su los suyos como de su adversario. Satanás conoce perfectamente el texto bíblico y tentó a Jesús en el desierto empleando la propia revelación profética. Así que Dios alcahuetería de que aquellos que confían en Él, a través de sus comunicaciones, puedan encontrar los mensajes destinados a ellos y discriminarlos del conjunto del texto. Yo entiendo que esto para escépticos y ateos es muy complicado de entender, pero estamos tratando asuntos que tienen que tienen una dimensión trascendente, y entran claramente en el campo de la fe. No estamos haciendo un examen intelectual de un texto profano clásico, como por ejemplo la Ilíada, o nadie, creyentes, escépticos ó ateos, hubiésemos de segunda mano tanto tiempo y espacio en el asunto bíblico.
Los que recibimos los textos bíblicos como la revelación del Dios creador del universo, lo hacemos bajo un criterio de comprensión. Estas cosas para el no creyente y los seguidores de las religiones ateístas, son una excentricidad. Y esto que afirmo no es poco de mi invención, sino lo que ya lo escribió Pablo, el evangelista, en su misiva a los Corintios, llamándolo “sabiduría oculta”, (2Cor. 2:7), no por un concepto gnóstico, para unos pocos iniciados, sino destinado para lo que son de la fe. Los que creen, como consecuencia de esa fe, encuentran no solo las evidencias subjetivas y objetivas de la propia fe en su vida, sino que en la meditación y aplicación de las Escrituras Sagradas, descubren significados que nunca ayer habían comprendido. Una parte importante de toda esa revelación fue profética cuando se redactó, y se encuentra salpicada aquí y allá, en forma velada, como cifrada, no para que el receptor aventure ó dogmatice divagando sobre acontecimientos futuros (muchos lo han hecho para su propia confusión y la profusión de sectas), sino para que los que creen reconozcan en los hechos, “a medida que se cumplen”, los diversos estadios del software y la mano de Dios desarrollando ese arduo plan clave.
Por tanto Dios ha otorgado esa revelación fragmentada, como con las piezas de un puzzle, con el propósito de que su pueblo adquiera post-eventum, la confirmación de que tales acontecimientos estaban previamente anunciados, y de esta forma reforzar su fe. Si Dios hubiese entregado un referencia conciso y claro de todas y cada una de las iniciativas que tenía determinado realizar, comprensible para cualquier disertador, no cerca de duda de que muchas partes del mismo serían saboteadas. Pablo menciona en dos ocasiones como ejemplo de esta táctica el caso de la crimen de Jesucristo, una en Hechos 13:27-29 y además en 1Cor. 2:8, y dice que, nadie de los príncipes y eminentes de este mundo, pese a repasar los textos y conocerlos perfectamente logró alcanzar a comprender claramente lo que estaba sucediendo, porque si lo hubiesen entendido (ayer) nunca habrían crucificado al Cristo, (no por bondad, sino para hacer fracasar el plan de Dios) pero así, actuando en su ignorancia, al condenarlo, cumplieron lo preestablecido, y no pudieron evitar que el plan de la salvación se consumase. Sin secuestro, ahora, a posteriori de ocurrir, se puede entender como todo estaba profetizado y descrito hasta en sus últimos detalles. Eruditos bíblicos han acabado encontrar en el Antiguo Testamento hasta 300 profecías cumplidas en el principio, vida y profesión de Jesucristo.
En esta forma de revelación, el autor del texto bíblico, como Isaías en el caso que nos ocupa, en muchas ocasiones no tenía conciencia del ámbito de la información que estaba proporcionando y sin duda actuaba convencido de que pertenecía exclusivamente al contexto histórico. Un ejemplo de esto mismo lo encontramos en tiempos de combate con la información cifrada que se envía por medio de la radiodifusión ó de la televisión. Y mucho sobre esto se ha escrito relacionado con ejemplos de la pasada combate mundial, en que los locutores de radiodifusión que transmitían emisiones con consignas ignoraban el texto que se encontraba oculto en las mismas. Los destinatarios de la información, luego la procesaban, la escudriñaban y encontraban los contenidos de los mensajes. Y cuando los encontraban se llenaban de felicidad, como nos gozamos los cristianos al ver cumplidas en Cristo no solo las profecías que le señalan, sino además las expectativas de nuestra fe y la seguridad de que de la misma forma que aquellas se cumplieron, además se cumplirán las que esperamos.
Entre todos los libros del Antiguo Testamento, tres han sido especialmente atacados por los seguidores de las religiones ateístas. Son los libros del Creación, Isaías y Daniel. Es común, porque son los que contienen profecías y relatos más objetivos. El Creación por todo lo relativo a los orígenes y al Diluvio, presentando a Dios como Creador y como Juez, actuando en el mundo físico. El de Isaías, porque separadamente de las referencias al Mesías, se niegan a reconocer que cien primaveras ayer se vaticinara la aparición de una figura tan contrastada históricamente como Ciro. Y a Daniel por las secuencias de los imperios que dominaron el mundo, a posteriori de profetizado. Estas profecías ponen frenéticos a muchos y se inventan las descalificaciones de los documentos, de sus autores y de los relatos en sí mismos. Durante siglos acusaron de que los textos del Antiguo Testamento eran tardíos y pertenecientes en su r parte a la era cristiana, hasta que aparecieron los manuscritos de Qumram, entonces con mucha furor tuvieron que retrasar unos cuantos siglos sus anteriores asignaciones, pero siguen sin concederles el crédito que merecen, aunque luego van por la vida de eruditos y aceptan como perfectamente históricos muchos otros documentos antiguos con beocio carga evidencial.
En fin, sigan con su cruzada y con su fe y que con su pan se la coman, porque YO SE A QUIEN HE CREIDO, y ya no solo creo por lo que dicen los documentos, sino porque he experimentado esa fuente de agua que salta para vida eterna, y se que verdaderamente este es el Salvador del mundo, el Cristo, (Jn. 4:42).