In response to comments at this article, a reader of Just Genesis has asked:
"Why do people insist on reading the Hebrew Scriptures as a prophetic piece, regarding the life of Jesus? Why not take the Scriptures at face value, and review them for the potential meaning they may hold in isolation? By giving everything a 'Jesus prophetic' spin, layers of meaning contained in the actual text may be missed or misinterpreted entirely. Of course, everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but I ask those who continue to read the Scriptures as purely code for the coming of Jesus, to consider the face of the text, without preconceived notions of what it might be 'code' for. These may be value in this, and humanistic insights that we may be missing entirely. My two cents."
Here is my reply:
"You make a good point. Reading Jesus Christ back into the ancient texts is not what we should do. It often results in skewed or reductionist interpretations.
On the other hand, the oldest material in the Bible does echo with expectation of the Righteous Ruler whose coming was anticipated. A rich narrative surrounds this Righteous Ruler. Christians believe that Jesus fits the pattern or template. There is reason to hold this view since Jesus' ancestry confirms that he is of the Horite ruler-priest lines among whom Messianic expectation first arose.
Biblical anthropology seeks to understand antecedents and explores the beliefs of Abraham's cattle-herding Nilotic ancestors. Until we understand their belief system and religious practices better, we will continue to misread the texts and force incorrect or inadequate interpretations on the Bible."
Related reading: Jesus: From Lamb to Ram; Genesis in Anthropological Perspective; Deified Rulers and Resurrection; Jesus' Horite Lineage