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7. Four Gospels

The Fathers identified them with the four Gospels, Matthew the lion, Mark the ox, Luke the man, John the eagle: these symbols, thus viewed, express not the personal character of the Evangelists, but the manifold aspect of Christ in relation to the world (four being the number significant of world-wide extension, for example, the four quarters of the world) presented by them severally: the lion expressing royalty, as Matthew gives prominence to this feature of Christ; the ox, laborious endurance, Christ’s prominent characteristic in Mark; man, brotherly sympathy with the whole race of man, Christ’s prominent feature in Luke; the eagle, soaring majesty, prominent in John’s description of Christ as the Divine Word.6

7 Walter L. Wilson, A Dictionary of Bible Types (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999), 180.

8 W. A. Criswell and Paige Patterson, eds., The Holy Bible: Baptist Study Edition (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), 1328.

9 [Ibid.] [Graham W. Scroggie, A Guide to the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1995, 1948), 95].

10 Criswell, The Holy Bible: Baptist Study Edition, 1328.

11 Eze. Eze. 1:10; Eze. 10:14; Rev. Rev. 4:7+; Rev. 21:13+.

12 “The identification of the ‘Branch’ (Hebrew, zemach) with the Messiah is as least as old as the Targum Jonathan (50 B.C.), which at both Zec. Zec. 3:8 and Zec. 6:12 translated zemach ‘Branch’ as mashiach ‘Messiah.’ ”—Randall Price, The Coming Last Days Temple (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1999), 230. “The epithet ‘Branch’ (צֶמַח [ṣemaḥ] derives from the verb used here (יִצמאח [yiṣmʾḥ] , ‘will sprout up’) to describe the rise of the Messiah. . . . In the immediate context this refers to Zerubbabel, but the ultimate referent is Jesus.”—New Electronic Translation : NET Bible, electronic edition (Dallas, TX: Biblical Studies Press, 1998), Zec. 6:12.

13 The genealogy of a servant is unimportant.

14 LORD here is יהוה [yhwh] , God.

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