What is the Integral Idea? This is from part of my book, The Essence of Perfection, from Chapter One.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
—Hebrews 5: 7–10
The author of Hebrews mentions the phrase “once made perfect” when describing Jesus after the Passion. This only occurred after Jesus went through more than ample amounts of suffering. When one thinks of what he endured near the conclusion of his lifetime in order to provide the world salvation, the final result becomes much more comprehensible. Jesus died with the burden of all the world’s sin but was made perfect afterward because of his sacrifice. However, the question arises, what is perfect in the eyes of God, and how are people to understand its full meaning?
It may be possible that being made perfect by God is much more complex than just being free of sin or being all knowing. It might include Christ’s being perfect in the number of days lived. After all, God created days and years also. Genesis is an excellent example of God’s use of days and time and the importance of keeping track of such matters. This concept is nothing new; it was pondered many centuries ago by some of the most renowned Christian, Jewish, and even pagan intellectuals.
Knowledge may sometimes lead people into dark and unexplored areas, but the experience is nevertheless invaluable. The author of John provides insight into the idea that the Bible leaves out much, and that other sources should be further analyzed and evaluated in a proper method. Why stop only at a basic edification of spiritual well-being? John 21:25 states, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
Judaism before the time of Christ believed in the idea of the “integral age” of the great Jewish Prophets—that those who lived a divine life were conceived or born and died on the same date. This belief was written in the of the Babylon Talmud. It states that the truest Jewish prophets were born and died during Passover, in the Jewish month of Nissan (March/April):
R. Yehoshua, says: In Nissan the world was created, and in the same month the patriarchs were born, and in Nissan they also died; Isaac was born on the Passover; on New Year’s Day Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were visited, Joseph was released from prison, and the bondage of our fathers in Egypt ceased. In Nissan our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt, and in the same month we shall again be redeemed .
Chapter One explores more about the history behind the Integral Idea. My next post will explore the idea of Jesus dying during Passover (the patriarchs died during Passover). This happened on April 7, 30 CE. The Resurrection occurred 3 days later on April 9, 30 CE. If you want to know more about the Greek philosophers, Church Fathers, and Jewish Rabbis who developed this concept or why it never developed fully until now read by book The Essence of Perfection.
3 Michael L. Rodkinson and Isaac M. Wise, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud (Boston: Boston New Talmud Society, 1918), 917.
14 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.