How does an infinite God fit into a finite universe? Traditional Jewish theology explains that God created an abstract of Himself which could be projected into a finite form. This ‘abstraction’ in Aramaic is called the Memra, which literally means ‘word’. A paraphrase of Genesis 1:1-3 from an Aramaic Targum (Jewish Commentary) thus reads, “From the beginning, with wisdom the Word of the LORD created and perfected the heavens and the earth … And the Word of the LORD said: “Let there be light.” and there was light by his Word.” (Gen 1:1-3 Targum Neofati Yerushalmi). Then, in verse 26 the Memra creates images and likenesses of its own divinity, being separate and unique from all of that which it had created previously.
Knowing that, when the Apostle John writes in the first chapter of his gospel narrative, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made”, he is using the Greek word Logos which means word, he is describing the exact same process, using the exact same wording, as in Genesis 1:1-3. Again, the Memra, the Word, the ‘abstraction’ of God, the Holy Spirit, inserts the infinite God into the finite; this time creating an image of its own divine flesh in the womb of Mary, as it had already created an image of its own divine self as Adam, and thus those of Adam being those of the Memra too!
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