Why in Matthew if Elijah is John The Baptist is that not a miracle he was in a womb twice

(Robb Poirier ) #1

I was watching a movie about the final witness. They referred to Malachi speaking if Elijah coming before the Messiah. Then referred to Matthew. So two part question…

Is it not a miracle Elijah would be born in the womb twice? Never herd it preached on and to my knowledge they refer to John The Baptist in his mother womb correct. So we can prove it…

The 2 question and I really need a direct answer or refer me to the translations in Greek. I asked Ravi I’m sure he will be too busy to reply…

Why when they asked Jesus about Elijah did the author which would of been Matthew right? End it with then THE disciples knew he was referring to John The Baptist… would this not of been translated then WE because not normal to write in 3rd person?

I mean if the account is a disciples account who added this last part? Matthew a Disciple it just seems very odd like either Matthew didnt write it and this was a story passed on…

I love any ones view or knowledge on either question… they are deeply important to me. Also any refrence you’d have…

Lastly if Elijah already came how do we not hear about this more… how did I miss this… i really need to pay more attention. I thought he was 1 of the 2 final witnesses him and Enoch which made sense since they both didnt die…

(SeanO) #2

@SinnerRobb It’s important to understand that John the Baptist was not literally Elijah - they were not the same person. Rather, John the Baptist came ‘in the spirit and power of Elijah’ - he was ‘like’ Elijah in the sense that he fulfilled a powerful prophetic ministry that was foretold by the Old Testament. I have linked an article that will hopefully help you.

Elijah was only born once and then ascended to be with God. Consider the mount of transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-8 - Elijah was there! He was still himself - he had not changed into John the Baptist.

Luke 1:17 - And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

The teaching of reincarnation is against the Old Testament. Therefore, Jesus was not teaching that John the Baptist was Elijah reincarnated. So, what did Jesus mean when He said that John the Baptist was Elijah? We see in Malachi 4:5 this prophecy, “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.” Jesus is referring to the prophecy concerning Elijah. We see that the coming of Elijah was in the spirit of Elijah, which is so stated in Luke 1:13-17.


(Robb Poirier ) #3

I’m so confused that a prophet would say one thing and it meant Spirit of now. I see that in Luke.

I figured meant the 2 witness one would he Elijah.

Can you explain why Matthew it says and the disciples thought after Jesus spoke it was Elijah doesn’t say Spirit there. Also why does Matthew talk in 3rd person if he is there listening and he a disciple why say THE disciples???

These type of OT verse NT make non believers say it contriditcs itself. I was searching.

I really like your response I stayed up looking into found your view other places as well. I understand Jesus also can’t explain heavenly things to a baby like me bc I can’t understand earthly things how could I understand John was Elijah.

(SeanO) #4

@SinnerRobb Glad it helped. It is not a contradiction - it is just a way of talking. Somewhat like when we say ‘It’s raining cats and dogs’. Well, we all know that cats and dogs aren’t falling out of the sky - we just mean that it’s really raining hard.

In the same way, when they said ‘Elijah’ they knew it did not literally mean Elijah himself - rather a person who would come ‘int he spirit and power’ of Elijah.

Matthew 11:14 - And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come.

(Robb Poirier ) #5

That part when Jesus says are you willing to accept what I say… is so odd actually to me a sinner. Seems like well if you belive me ok if not ok no Biggie. Idk think I’d love to see if anyone else every thought of this or why Matthew speaks in 3rd person it almost is like hear say no 1 person account. One verse you didnt point out is Jesus saw Elijah in NT and Moses… Elijah didnt die Moses did… so that is another deep question how is Moses already in heaven? Does that mean everyone who dies goes to heaven before the judgement

(SeanO) #6

@SinnerRobb Everyone who dies in Christ will be with Christ. Eventually Jesus will return and create a new heavens and earth - with no sickness, sorrow or pain and all believers will be resurrected to live in that new heavens and earth. But when we as believers die we go to be with Jesus until then.

Matthew is writing the Gospel, so it is natural that the accounts of Jesus would be in the third person. Also, even when the Gospel writers wrote themselves in, they still chose to use 3rd person point of view (like John who was the ‘beloved disciple’). It does not change the fact that the Gospel writers were eyewitnesses testifying to what they saw - it was just the way such literature was written.

(Robb Poirier ) #7

So it would be natural to write in 3rd person? Seem Paul did not write in 3rd person… I’m have to pray about this heavily… I understand revelation to say we would have judgment and to be already in Heaven would mean you are there and then go to judgements thousands years maybe million years later… this just seems odd. I do remember reading though about a man in Abraham bosom and look into hell speaking to someone

(SeanO) #8

@SinnerRobb Paul was writing a personal letter - the Gospels are a different genre. It is important to understand what genre you are reading when you read each book of the Bible - there is poetry, historical narrative, apocalypse and epistles. Paul’s letters are just that - personal letters to specific people from him. The Gospels are narrative accounts of Jesus’ life. They are different genres.

You don’t expect the author of a book on history to write in the first person. But if your best friend writes you a letter in the mail it would be very odd for them to use anything other than first person. Genre matters.

You may benefit greatly from some of the resources provided in the following thread:

(Robb Poirier ) #9

Thank for all the replies… I am more confused more I search now bc if my friends and I saw Jesus and I wrote about it I would refer to it as my friends and I…

When I read the Gospel it makes me feel like it was someone later writing it bc to use the phrase disciples and leave yourself out seems super odd to me personally. I’m definitely not going to expect a non beliver who is well educated in English not to pick this up bc I’m horrible at English and I noticed it and was questioning it

(SeanO) #10

@SinnerRobb My friend, I have cited below both an apologetic article explaining why the author of Matthew and John referred to themselves in the third person as well as a scholarly article studying the use of the third person in French autobiographies from the modern era. In fact, this scholarly article notes that throughout history people have chosen, for various reasons, to write about themselves in the third person. So it would seem that educated people should recognize that it is a historical fact that people do, for various reasons of genre and preference, choose to write about themselves in the third person.

Does that help clarify the case? Being educated should in fact allow you to see that many people have chosen to write about themselves in the third person, all throughout history. Even in the modern era. There is an entire scholarly article looking at only French examples.

Apologetic Article

This leaves John and Matthew as eyewitnesses who likely wrote of their experiences in the third person. So why would they have written in the third person instead of the first person? There are several reasons why this is the case.
It was a fairly standard practice in ancient writing to refer to oneself in the third person. We find this, for example, in Xenophon’s Expedition of Cyrus and Caesar’s Commentaries. Given this fact, it is not particularly surprising that Matthew and John adopt the same convention; it is certainly not evidence against Matthew’s or John’s authorship of the Gospels that bear their names. But what do we make of John’s writing in first person throughout his other biblical books? The main difference between the Gospels and the other books of the New Testament is that the Gospels function primarily as biographies for Christ and His ministry. John’s four other biblical books are either intended for teaching, encouraging and correcting a particular person or group (1,2,3 John) or to report to specific churches what the Lord had revealed to him through revelation regarding the end times and the final judgment (Revelation). These were more personal letters than biographies.

Scholarly Article on Autobiography in the Third Person

The idea of an autobiography in the third person may seem as
paradoxical as that of a biography in the first person. In both
cases there appears to be a contradiction between saying “he”
when one is “I,” and “I” when one says “he”. I propose to examine some of these figures, because they enable one to study “the use of personal pronouns in autobiography,” as Michel Butor would put it.

The discussion will therefore center on modern or contemporary
French works. I could have added older texts to this corpus, or mod-
ern texts corresponding to different horizons of expectation. For in-
stance: historical memoirs such as those of Caesar, religious autobiog-
raphies in which the writer styles himself “the servant of God,” or
seventeenth-century aristocratic memoirs like those of President de
Thou; or highly coded short genres such as the preface, the third-
person publisher’s blurb, or the biographical notice composed by the
author, all of which are related to publishing practices.

Lejeune, Philippe, et al. “Autobiography in the Third Person.” New Literary History , vol. 9, no. 1, 1977, pp. 27–50. JSTOR , JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/468435.

(Robb Poirier ) #11

Wow thanks!!! And I can see once again I was not only one to not only notice obviously, but to ensure we had a solid stance so when we run into well educated ppl and they notice this we are like hmmm I have no clue…

I appreciate it very much you taking time and added so much detail to response.

(SeanO) #12

@SinnerRobb Sure thing - glad it helped :slight_smile: Yes, it is good to be prepared to give a defense for our faith.