Re: Sheep...Voice

From: George Athas (
Date: Tue Apr 21 1998 - 19:12:19 EDT

Hi Greg!

> [...]
> My questions are: 1) who possibly could these "other sheep" be
> and 2) since those in Israel were already hearing His "voice," where
> did He go to speak to these "other sheep" so they would hear his
> actual voice and 3) does Isaiah 56:8 give us some kind of clue?
> As far as I can tell, He must have gone someplace(s) AFTER His
> resurrection. When He referred to "this fold" He must have referred
> to His followers and/or Israel proper (as when He wept over Jerusalem).
> And since His followers ("this fold") were composed of those from
> Samaria
> and Israel He doesn't seem to be referring to them.

Well it seems fairly certain that the "other sheep" are Gentiles. Yes,
Isaiah 56:8 is helpful, especially in light of the previous verses, 56:6,7.
These talk about foreigners, or gentiles, going up to worship YHWH so that
his house will be a house of prayer for all nations. It follows on from the
promises to Abraham of a blessing to all nations that this is the flock
that Jesus meant here. The Isaiah verses stress the unity between Israelite
and Gentile in the House of YHWH, just as Jesus goes on to stress the unity
of the two flocks made one in John 10:16.

As per your second suggestion that Jesus must have gone someplace after his
resurrection, this is not a necessity. Christ's ministry to gentiles during
his lifetime was very short, even cursory. It is not until after the
Ascension that gentiles really begin to flock (excuse the pun) to the
movement. Acts focuses on Paul as an apostle to the gentiles. Christ's
literal voice is not necessarily meant since the Holy Spirit is the symbol
of Christ's presence and gives the Christians words to say. Christ also
says "For where there are two or three gathered in my name, there am I in
the midst of them" (Mat 18:20), and the apostles speak with the authority
of Christ himself also (1Cor 7:40; 14:37; Col 1:5; 2Tim 1:13; 2Pet 3:2; 1Jn
2:27). The only reason Christ MUST have gone someplace after his
resurrection is if his message to the other sheep was different from the
message to the first flock (Israel), or if it was somehow inadequate.
Otherwise, the gentiles could hear Christ's very voice in the words of the
apostles who carried Christ's teaching to them.

Best regards!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
Visit the Tel Dan Inscription Website at

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