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  #1  
Old Apr 7, '05, 8:40 pm
Heliotrope Heliotrope is offline
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Default Metatron

In reading about angels, I was struck by how many traits Metatron shares with Christ. Further investigating, I found, to my surprise, that Metatron is an angel mentioned in Jewish, not Christian tradition--especially the Talmud (non-scriptural commentaries on the scriptures) and the Zohar (12th C. (?) Jewish mystic tract). I'm now nearly convinced that the visions of a being in heaven named "Metatron" by Hebrews and, later, Spanish Jews, were an attempt by God to prepare His chosen people to understand that He has a Son. Of course, ever careful not to break their covenant with a singular God, the Jewish scholars were alarmed by each such vision, and so they spent most of their interpretive energy making it clear that Metatron was not God's equal. They never made a connection between the Messiah, Jesus, and Metatron; they assumed that any celestial being in heaven other than God must be an angel, and so Metatron was interpreted as the most powerful angel. But consider the details of the Metatron stories:
Metatron sits in a throne like God's at God's right hand. No other angel sits, because only the King may sit on a throne. Metatron is Heaven's scribe, recording all events in Creation and, by writing new ones, creating all new events in Creation. Metatron is the Voice, Word, and Face of God ("Nobody has seen the face of God," and yet, "Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father")--God Himself is invisible, so Metatron serves as His Face. Metatron wins the adoration of all the angels in heaven by announcing that he so loves mortals, who suffer, that he will do what no angel has done: submit to mortal suffering; he is God's beloved because he volunteers to undergo "60 strokes of the rod." One visionary of Metatron, on seeing Metatron seated at God's right hand, is told by God, "Behold little YHWH." This visionary was so confused by this that he reported it to his rabbis, who convicted this visionary of heresy. Metatron, the interpreters decided, is THE intermediary between the divine and the human. All prayers must go through him to get to God. The holiest seraphim have six wings, but Metatron is seen adorned with 36 wings. When two Egyptian sorcerers sneak into heaven, even Michael cannot force them out; Metatron alone is able to cast them out. Metatron is the ultimate servant in heaven, and this is another reason he is God's beloved. His name in Hebrew means "myrrh," which was one of the magi's gifts to Jesus; it is an oil for anointing, and it is the oil for corpses being prepared for burial in the hope of the resurrection. In Greek, "Metatron" means "beyond the throne." Metatron is given 72 names in heaven, including "the prince of wisdom" and "the prince of understanding."

(some of the above can be found here: http://www.ihms.net/kabbalah/KABBALAH1.htm)

My question is, are people really so distracted by the mistaken conclusion that Metatron is an angel, or so distracted by his being, in the celestial visions, not in human incarnation, that they have never made this connection? My purpose is not to get "Metatron" into the catechism, but to use the Metatron texts to convince Jewish worshippers of Christ's legitimacy. It also makes Christ make even more sense to me; if an invisible God is loving, and He creates creatures who are comforted and led by sight, then how else can He ever have a relationship with them except by having a Face, a representative who both points to the invisible God and IS the invisible God?
continued...
  #2  
Old Apr 7, '05, 8:41 pm
Heliotrope Heliotrope is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

Finding this also reinforced my belief that for every fallen world, Christ must descend and take on the nature of his fallen creatures. (See John 8:20-26, John 10:16-18, and "my Father's house has many mansions"). (I was once given a very tender and charming image of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane--only he appeared as a young boy, 14 or so, a stage performer backstage, behind the curtains, in the dark, putting on leggings, somewhat weary because he had done his performance on many nights, and had to do it again; but obedient, artful, professional, careful in lacing up his costume and preparing for the performance. He was sad, and his Father was somewhere out of sight; he leaned against a table in a slim and suffocatingly dark passageway between a dull cinderblock wall and the heavy curtains of the stage.) If death is the price of sin, and suffering the experience of death's approach, then no matter how different all of God's creatures are among the trillion stars, they all require essentially the same salvation when they fall: as human, Jesus suffered and died though undeserving of those fates, and so redeemed humanity. This could redeem us only because, made in the image of God, we can hear his Word and spread it. This is why we are not simply the animal that sins; there is another factor to our identity that we would share with "other flocks" in need of salvation. This identity is revealed in that Adam was the namer of Earthly creation even before his fall... this separates us from the other animals even before we become capable of sin. (This does relate to Metatron; bear with me). If other flocks are made in God's image, and have fallen, it seems to me that the one Christ would have to save them race by race, world by world, and that this work of redemption would be always yet the same work... the same once-and-for-all-time Sacrament? Act? The Crucifixion and Resurrection are one event for all time, for humanity; but even on earth, we see these events echoing everywhere and in everything. If the Christ had more than human beings to save, we could only be sure a few of the details stayed the same from flock to flock, world to world: the Christ would serve as Face, Voice, and Word of God, and bring the Face, Voice, and Word of God to his fallen creatures, who could then spread that Word throughout their world; He would have to show them the way out of sin, suffering, and death by suffering and dying though sinless. These we might call the universals, the trans-human or heavenly or divine aspects of Christ... so isn't this what we see in Metatron's descriptions? A Christ who wasn't always human? A Christ as he was before his earthly incarnation? I do keep a distinction in my heart between the possibilities and the certainties of my faith; however, the fruit of this learning has been to make me surer of Christ, of His natures, and of the beauty of His natures and his works. My mother, however, is a very careful Catholic, and she was very concerned about my interest in some wacko story about "Metatron." I tend to believe that, as Christ is called many many things, this is simply one more name of His, and not the most important one for my salvation. But I do see in all this how God might have used visionaries to form a stronger bridge between old and new covenants, Jew and Catholic, and especially in our era, wouldn't this bridge be something we could use to strengthen the bond between Jew and Catholic, if not outright convert some Jews to Catholicism?

John 10:16-18. There's also John 8:20-26.
  #3  
Old Apr 7, '05, 9:24 pm
Darrel Darrel is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

Interesting stuff,

Is the Metatron angel endorsed by all Jews? I would be interested in a Jewish perspective on this post.

-D
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  #4  
Old Apr 8, '05, 1:51 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

I'm not Jewish, but I do believe that the Metatron is indeed recognized by all Orthodox Jews. Of course their interpretation of the Metatron is different from the one presented here, but even the Jewish understanding of Metatron is very, very similar to the Christian understanding of Christ as "The Word", but without the notion that the Metatron is actually God.

In some Jewish mystical understandings (not sure how widespread they are, or how legitimately orthodox they are, though I believe they come from Kabbalistic teaching), God is so great that the human mind can not directly comprehend It, and when God speaks to man, He actually speaks through Metatron. In other words, every time that God is directly quoted in Scripture, it was actually Metatron speaking, because the human mind can't directly communicate with God; it needs an "interpreter". Metatron is literally God's stand in, even allowed to receive worship in the name of God; it's the only angel that Jews can actually bow to, because they are truly bowing to God when they bow to Metatron. The Metatron can, literally speaking, be called "The Word of God" or "God's Personal Stand-In". This is just my very limited understanding of a possibly heretical belief within Judaism. I've read about it in seemingly scholarly works on Kabbalism, but then so much is falsely attributed to Kabbalah and the Zohar these days that I simply can't speak with any authority without studying them in-depth myself, and anyone that's seen the Zohar and the requirements for even CRACKING IT OPEN will realize that that's just not going to happen.

It's not hard to take these beliefs in the Metatron one step further, as the originator of the thread has done, and conclude that the Metatron actually IS God, but in the manifestation we call "The Word" or "The Son", who Incarnated as a man named Yeshua. In fact, I wouldn't be suprised if the development of Trinitarian understanding by the Apostles didn't originate in this reflection on the Metatron. I believe, however, that traditional Jewish understanding is that Enoch was actually transformed into Metatron.

I want to stress to any Jewish readers that when I say the Metatron could be God, I'm saying that from a purely Christian understanding, and not attempting to elevate what you clearly believe to be a creature to the status of Divine. If Metatron is indeed simply Enoch, or just an angel, then he would NOT be The Word as Christians understand it.

Personally I'm interested in hearing from SSV on this, and hoping he can graciously cut down any misrepresentations my shaky understanding has led to

Last edited by Ghosty; Apr 8, '05 at 2:08 am.
  #5  
Old Apr 8, '05, 9:39 am
RebAvomai RebAvomai is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

BS'D

Shalom Chaverim,

Quote:
I'm not Jewish, but I do believe that the Metatron is indeed recognized by all Orthodox Jews. Of course their interpretation of the Metatron is different from the one presented here, but even the Jewish understanding of Metatron is very, very similar to the Christian understanding of Christ as "The Word", but without the notion that the Metatron is actually God.

There are many misconceptions out there about Metatron and oftening linking him to Aramiac phrase "Memra" or "The Word.", however, the two have little in common.

Quote:
In some Jewish mystical understandings (not sure how widespread they are, or how legitimately orthodox they are, though I believe they come from Kabbalistic teaching), God is so great that the human mind can not directly comprehend It
That is fairly accurate description.

Quote:
He actually speaks through Metatron. In other words, every time that God is directly quoted in Scripture, it was actually Metatron speaking, because the human mind can't directly communicate with God; it needs an "interpreter".
That idea stems from Aproryphiac works, rather then scripture or even midrash. Angles of course are HaShem's personal messangers and when they are delievering said message, it is as if God himself was commanding it.

Quote:
I believe, however, that traditional Jewish understanding is that Enoch was actually transformed into Metatron.
That should be in the book of Enoch? My memory is failing me...


To handle ideas such as the Metatron, it is easier to take each claim at a time, since many are steeped in either Midrashic or Kabbalistic works, you have to tread carefully.

I would be happy to help anyone who wants to explore the idea however.
  #6  
Old Apr 8, '05, 9:48 am
RebAvomai RebAvomai is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

BS'D


Shalom Heliotrope,

The author of your link, Dr. James Trimm, is a fairly well known fraud in the Judaic world.

He has no facualty or even formal training in Hebrew, Aramiac or even Jewish Mysticism by legitmate persons. I have encountered him before, and when attempting to examine his ideas with either Hebrew or the Aramiac languages, I just recevied a blank stare in return.

His brand of messianic christanity is fairly easy to pick out of the lot. I think it would do you well to disregard anything penned by him
  #7  
Old Apr 8, '05, 9:53 am
RebAvomai RebAvomai is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

BS'D


Shalom,

Just a quick example of what I mean, lemme quote Trimm himself here;

[quote]
But Targum Jonathan paraphrases the speaker in Ex. 20:1 with the substitution "the Word [Memra] of YHWH" in place of "YHWH."

[/QUOTE]

Anyone, who has received a smidgen of training in the Targums knows that Targum Yonathan is a Midrashic work, and the author(s) used Memra to replace all anthromorphic descriptions of HaShem to avoid blasphomey of the idea that God has a physical shape.

You actually see this, becuase one of the authors includes a short prayer at the begining of the works, explaining their intentions.
  #8  
Old Apr 8, '05, 10:12 am
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Scott_Lafrance Scott_Lafrance is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

I thought Megatron was a Transformer and head of the Deceptocons?
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  #9  
Old Apr 8, '05, 12:03 pm
Heliotrope Heliotrope is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

RebA, and others:

Thank you for your feedback.

I was thinking: Jews look forward to the Messiah, Christians to the 2nd coming of Christ, and Muslims to the 2nd coming of Jesus. Do any other religions--ANY--have a comparable element in their faith? Do you think that Hindus who await the next avatar of Krisna would be included in this Messianic category? What is Krisna's role in the world said to be in his next incarnation?

And, are there any other religions that look forward to a Messiah/judge/Savior arriving on earth?
  #10  
Old Apr 9, '05, 4:17 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

Quote:
There are many misconceptions out there about Metatron and oftening linking him to Aramiac phrase "Memra" or "The Word.", however, the two have little in common.
Agreed. I'm speaking specifically about the Christian concept of "The Word" as the Second Person of the Trinity, the second of three manifestations of God, if you will. The Aramaic phrase has little to nothing to do with this concept, I believe, other than they use the same terms. I believe that the fact that the Midrash uses the term "the Word of YHWH" is actually just an amusing coincidence. It's an easy mistake to make, and I wouldn't expect someone from a non-Christian background to immediately latch on to the Trinitarian meaning when they hear the phrase "The Word". Obviously, the Midrash is not informed by the Christian Trinitarian formulation, and neither is the concept of the Trinity informed by the Midrash.

There are those, as you've pointed out, who try to imply that the Jews have this understanding and don't "realize" it. That's not at all what I'm trying to do. I'm merely pointing out that the mystical Jewish conception of the Metatron and its function (based on my limited understanding of Kabbalah) is very similar in a number of ways to the Christian idea of "The Word" (not to be confused with the Aramaic use of the same phrase). The major difference is that Jews view the Metatron as a creature, and Christians view "The Word" as a manifestation of God. For example, when God spoke to Moses it was "The Word", or The Son in the Trinitarian formulation, speaking. This is similar to the view expressed by some Jews I've heard that say that the Metatron is the "voice of God" in such instances.

Of course, as I've said, I'm not steeped in Kabbalah, and there's so much misinformation out there that it's very, very difficult to sift through the good and the bad. None of my close Jewish friends are qualified (yet) to study the Zohar, and I don't have the time nor the background to delve into it myself. Even if I did, I doubt I'd be able to grasp enough of it to sythesize it in a reasonable manner without heavy training that I'm just not inclined to pursue (and I don't even know that I could find the proper training as a non-Jew).

Peace be with you!
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Old Apr 12, '05, 3:33 pm
Heliotrope Heliotrope is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty
Obviously, the Midrash is not informed by the Christian Trinitarian formulation, and neither is the concept of the Trinity informed by the Midrash.
Isn't this more incredible than if one were an offshoot of the other?

I guess I'm of the camp that believes "God" and "Allah" mean the same thing in the majority of cases. "Memra," "Logos," "Word,"--of course they're not the same word; of course they don't have identical meanings. But they overlap. And I guess I think a lot of arguments in theology are of the "less filling/tastes great" variety. New question: Would my saying "I believe Jesus was Metatron" help a Jewish person understand my Christianity as something other than heresy?
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Old Apr 12, '05, 4:01 pm
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

Quote:
Would my saying "I believe Jesus was Metatron" help a Jewish person understand my Christianity as something other than heresy?
Not likely. I actually think it would reinforce the belief that we elevate a creature to the level of God. Remember, when a Jew hears "Metatron" they think "angel". If you were to say "Jesus is the Metatron", they'd likely hear, at least subconciously, "Jesus is an angel". It would be more appropriate to say that where Jews believe the Metatron was speaking, Christians believe The Son was speaking.

Allah and God have the same connotation even though they are different words. Memra and Logos are the same words with very different connotations. Both Jews and Christians believe in the word of God, and use that terminology for when God speaks. Only Christians, however, believe that the words that God speaks are literally a substantial facet of God, so our understanding of Logos is entirely different.

I agree with your drive at finding the commonality, I just think that this is one of the cases where it's literally too good to be true. It might seem good on the surface, but when you consider the implications that both sides are bringing to the words, we're quite likely to talk past eachother when discussing Memra and Logos. This is what happened in the doctrinal discussions between the East and West of the Church, and led to a number of schisms that realistically didn't even exist.
  #13  
Old Apr 12, '05, 6:50 pm
Heliotrope Heliotrope is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

Ghosty,

That was an inspired answer. Thank you.
  #14  
Old Apr 13, '05, 11:38 am
RebAvomai RebAvomai is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

BS'D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty
but when you consider the implications that both sides are bringing to the words, we're quite likely to talk past eachother when discussing Memra and Logos. This is what happened in the doctrinal discussions between the East and West of the Church, and led to a number of schisms that realistically didn't even exist.
Shalom Ghosty,

You bring up a very important point. Judaism and Catholicism arrive at their theological truths in different manners. One would have to find a common ground and work from there.
  #15  
Old Apr 13, '05, 12:10 pm
RebAvomai RebAvomai is offline
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Default Re: Metatron

BS'D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heliotrope
New question: Would my saying "I believe Jesus was Metatron" help a Jewish person understand my Christianity as something other than heresy?
and Ghosty's reasponse...

Quote:
Not likely. I actually think it would reinforce the belief that we elevate a creature to the level of God. Remember, when a Jew hears "Metatron" they think "angel".
You might relate your postion better to someone of Orthodox Education who doesn't know much about Christanity, but it would still appear as "heresy" so to speak.

In the Mysticism of this case ( Not this Litvak's cup of tea ) Enoch a mortal human was "elevated" to Metatron, that ideal isn't exactly alien, however, Jesus in Christanity has a much bigger role then Metatron.
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