2 Corinthians 5:17
14 For the love of Christ controls us, since we have concluded this, that Christ died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised. 16 So then from now on we acknowledge no one from an outward human point of view. Even though we have known Christ from such a human point of view, now we do not know him in that way any longer. 17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come! 18 And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation.
Genesis Rabbah 39:11Aggadah
AND I WILL MAKE OF THEE A GREAT NATION. Said he to Him: ‘Yet hast Thou not caused the seventy nations to spring from Noah?’ He replied: ‘That nation of which it is written, For what great nation is there, that hath God so nigh unto them (Deut. v, 7), them will I raise up from thee.’ R. Berekiah said: It is not written, ‘And I will give thee,’ or ‘And I will set thee, but, AND I WILL MAKE THEE: i.e. after I have created thee as a new creation thou wilt be fruitful and multiply. R. Levi b. Ahyatha and R. Abba said: Thrice is ‘greatness’ mentioned here, and ‘blessings’ four times: He thus informed him that there would be three Patriarchs and four Matriarchs. R. Berekiah said: Because travelling has three adverse effects, diminishing procreation, and reducing one’s wealth and one’s fame, [God gave him counter assurances]. Since it diminishes procreation [He said to him], AND I WILL MAKE OF THEE A GREAT NATION; it decreases one’s wealth, hence, AND I WILL BLESS THEE; it diminishes one’s name [fame], hence, AND MAKE THY NAME GREAT. And though the proverb says, ‘When you travel from one house to another, you lose a shirt; from one country to another, you lose a life,’ yet in truth thou wilt lose neither life nor property. R. Berekiah said in R. Helbo’s name: It? means that his coinage was current in the world. There were four whose coinage became current in the world: Abraham, as it is written, AND I WILL MAKE OF THEE, etc. And what effigy did his coinage bear? An old man and an old woman on one side, and a boy and a girl on the other.
Notes and References
"... Greek gennethe anothen is sometimes rendered "born again" and sometimes "born from above"; my rendering reflects my conclusion that both aspects are relevant; also see 1 Peter 1:3-4. While the widespread currency since the 1970's of the expression "born-again Christian" originates here, the concept itself is Jewish, as demonstrated by this example from the Talmud: 'Shim'on Ben-Lakish said, "...a proselyte is like a newborn infant'"(Yevamot 62a); likewise Rabbi Yosi (Yevamot 48b). The idea resembles that of the 'new creation' (2C 5:17), which too is found in rabbinic literature (e.g., in Genesis Rabbah 39:11) ..."
Stern, David H. Jewish New Testament Commentary (p. 165) Jewish New Testament Publications, 1994
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