Many Christians cannot seem to fathom why it is that Jews do not accept Jesus. These Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah predicted by the Jewish prophets, and cannot begin to understand why anyone would think differently. After all, these Christians ask, didn’t Jesus fulfill hundreds of messianic prophecies? These Christians tell themselves, that the Jewish people must be supernaturally blinded to the obvious truth. These Christians charitably pray for the scales to be removed from the eyes of the Jews. Other Christians (of less charitable nature), believe that the Jews see Jesus in the Jewish Bible, but refuse to accept him anyway. Needless to say, these Christian assessments of the Jewish rejection of Jesus were not positive factors in the history of civilization.
The fact of the matter is that there are many moral and ethical reasons which stand in the way of the Jew’s acceptance of Jesus. Most of these reasons are spelled out in the Jewish Bible, the very book that both Jews and Christians accept as the word of the Living God. Not only are these reasons spelled out in the Jewish Bible, but they are repeated again and again. These teachings are emphasized and highlighted throughout the Jewish scriptures.
The significance of the scriptural repetition of these concepts cannot be overemphasized. The foundational teachings of Christianity are nowhere to be found in the Jewish scriptures. There is not one passage that can be understood to read that the only path to eternal salvation is through loyalty to an individual. There is not one passage that can be understood to read that there is no atonement for sin without faith in the same individual.
According to Christian theology, these are the most important religious concepts, yet God saw no need to mention them in His holy scripture. Yet God did see fit to repeat the foundational concepts of Judaism hundreds of times. Do you repeat anything hundreds of times if it doesn’t mean a lot to you? Could you believe that God repeated these concepts so many times but considers them of minor significance?
To Whom Should Our Hearts Belong?
The foundational teaching of the Jewish scriptures is that God created heaven and earth, and that everything that is in them are His subjects. Scripture opens with the words: “In the beginning God created heaven and earth.” In the Ten Commandments it is stated: “for in six days did the Lord make the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:11). Moses taught us: “Behold, to the Lord your God belong the heavens and the heaven of the heaven the earth and all that is in it” (Deuteronomy 10:14). Isaiah describes God with the words: the Lord God, He that created the heavens and stretched them forth, He spread forth the earth and all which comes out of it, He who gave a soul to the people upon it, and spirit to those that walk upon it” (Isaiah 42:5).
God utilized the miracles of the exodus, the Sinai revelation and Israel’s 40 year journey in the desert to teach Israel the foundational truth of God’s absolute mastery over nature.
Moses told us: Unto you it was shown in order that you know that the Lord is the God there is none else aside from Him… And you should know today and turn it to your hearts that the Lord, He is the God in the heavens above and in the earth below there is none else.” (Deuteronomy 4:35,39).
The scriptures teach us that when we look at the world around us, we are looking at a world created by God. Every inhabitant of heaven and earth, be it an inanimate object, a plant, a beast, a human or an angel, are but creations of the One Master of all. All of God’s creations are equally subject to Him, because they are all equally created by Him. The Christian doctrine that exalts one inhabitant of this earth and points to him as an object of religious devotion directly violates this central biblical teaching.
By pointing to one created being and elevating him to the status of divine, Christianity has blurred the distinction between Creator and created. The arguments presented by Christendom to justify their devotion could just as easily be used to justify devotion to any created being such as a cat, a rock, a statue, or another person. The unequivocal message of scripture is that every last inhabitant of heaven and earth is but a subject of the One Creator.
Genesis 1:1, 2:1-3, 14:19,20,22, 18:14, 21:33, 24:3, Exodus 4:11, 7:17, 8:6,18, 9:14,15,16,29, 10:2, 14:4,18, 15:11,18, 18:11, 20:2,11,19, 23:13, 29:46, 34:14, Leviticus 11:45, 19:36, 25:23,38, 26:13,45, Numbers 15:41, Deuteronomy 4:9-24, 31-39, 5:6,7,15, 6:4,12,13,14,21, 7:9,18,19,21, 8:2,3,4,14-18, 9:3, 10:14,17,18,21,22, 11:2-7, 13:3,6,7,11,14, 17:3, 20:1, 26:8, 29:1,2,4,5, 32:6,39,40, 33:26,27, Joshua 2:11, 3:11, 4:24, 24:17,18, 1Samuel 2:2,3,6,10, 10:18, 12:6, 2Samuel 7:22, 22:32, 1Kings 8:23,27,60, 2Kings 19:15, Jeremiah 2:6, 5:22,24, 10:6-16, 14:22, 23:24, 27:5, 31:34, 32:17-21,27, 51:15-19, Isaiah 40:12-26,28, 41:4, 42:5, 43:10-13, 44:6-8,24, 45:5-7,12,18-23, 46:5,9,10, 48:13, 51:15, 66:1, Hosea 13:4, Amos 4:13, 5:8, 9:5,6, Jonah 1:9, Nahum 1:2-4, Zechariah 12:1, Psalm 8:4, 10:16, 11:4, 18:32, 19:1-7, 24:1,2, 29:10, 33:6-11, 65:7-14, 66:6-9, 68:8,9, 71:19, 74:12-17, 78:12-16,42-55, 81:11, 83:19, 86:8-10, 89:6-14, 95:1-7, 96:4,5, 100:3, 102:26, 104:1-35, 113:4,5, 114:7,8, 115:3-11, 119:73,89-91, 121:2, 124:8, 134:3, 135:5-21, 136:1-26, 139:5-16, 145:9,14-16, 146:1-10, 147:1-20, 148:1-14, 149:2, Job 4:17, 5:9,10, 9:2-12, 10:8-12, 12:9,10,13-25, 25:1-6, 26:6-14, 28:23-28, 34:13, 35:10, 36:22,23,26-37:24, 38:1-42:6, Proverbs 3:19,20, Ecclesiastes 3:11,14, Daniel 2:20-22, 3:33, 4:31,32,34, 5:23, 6:27,28, 9:15, Ezra 1:2, 5:11, Nehemiah 9:6, 1Chronicles 16:25,26, 17:20, 29:10-12,14-16, 2Chronicles 2:5, 6:14,18, 20:6, 36:23,
The Election of Israel
One of the foundational principles of Christianity is the concept that those who have faith in Jesus are considered the elect of God. There is not one passage in the Jewish Bible that can be read as a support for this doctrine. There is not one passage in the Jewish Bible that speaks of a new election on the basis of loyalty to an individual. In contrast, the Jewish scriptures repeatedly emphasize God’s irrevocable election of Israel.
Throughout history, the prevalent teaching of the Church was that the Jewish people are no longer God’s elect, and that the Church inherited Israel’s status as God’s elect. In recent years many Christian denominations have come to acknowledge that the Jewish people are still elected by God. But even those Christians, who accept Israel’s election, have eviscerated the concept of all meaning. God appointed Israel to be His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10), but these Christians consider the testimony of Israel to be false. God called upon Israel to observe His law (Deuteronomy 26:18), but these Christians, for the most part, believe that the law is null and void. According to these Christians the priesthood of Israel is abrogated, the teachers of Israel have no authority, and the sanctity that Israel experiences is demonic. These Christians have usurped all of the gifts of Israel’s election. The fact that they begrudgingly allow Israel to share with the Church the empty title “elect of God” does not bring them in line with the spirit of scripture.
The following list of verses teaches us how God’s promises to Israel, to Israel’s priests and concerning the Land of Israel are irrevocable.
Genesis 9:27, 12:2,7, 13:14-17, 15:5,7,18, 17:7-14, 18:18, 22;17,18, 25:23, 26:3-5, 28:13,14, 35:12, 48:4,16,20, 49:10, 50:24, Exodus 2:24, 3:8,17, 4:22, 6:4,8, 8:19, 11:7, 15:16,17, 19:5,6 24:8, 25:8,22, 29:43-46, 31:12-17, 33:1,16, 34:10,27, Leviticus 11:45, 15:31, 19:2, 20:3,24,26, 22:33, 26:44, Numbers 15:41, 22:12, 23:21, 24:9, 33:53, 35:34, Deuteronomy 1:8, 4:7,20,31-39, 6:10,18, 7:6-8, 8:1, 9:5,26,29, 10:11,15, 11:12,31, 14:1,2, 21:8, 23:6, 26:15-19, 27:9, 29:11-14, 32:9-12, 33:28,29, Joshua 1:6, 5:6, 21:41, 1Samuel 12:22, 2Samuel 7:23,24, 1Kings 8:13,51-53, 9:3, 10:9, 11:36, Jeremiah 2:2,3, 10:16, 12:14, 14:9, 31:2,8,34-36, 33:19-26, 46:27,28, 50:33,34, 51:5, Ezekiel 11:16, 16:60, 37:28, Isaiah 41:8-16, 43:1-21, 44:1-8,21-23, 45:4,14-17, 46:3,4, 48:12, 49:14-16, 51:7,15,16,22-52:12, 54:10, 55:5, 59:21, 60:1-3,12,21, 61:6,9, 62:1-12, Hosea 2:1,21,22, Joel 4:17,20,21, Zephaniah 3:20, Zechariah 2:12, 8:20-23, Malachi 1:2, Psalm 28:9, 29:11, 38:12, 44:18, 47:4,5, 48:9,15, 50:7, 68:35,36, 74:2, 78:5,69, 79:13, 89:16, 94:14, 95:7, 98:1-3, 100:3, 105:8-45, 111:4-9, 125:2, 132:13-18, 133:3, 135:4, 144:15, 147:19,20, 148:14, 149:2,4, Nehemiah 1:10, 9:7,8, 1Chronicles 15:2, 16:15-22, 17:21,22,24, 23:13,25, 2Chronicles 6:6, 7:16, 9:8, 20:7
The Messianic Expectation
Christianity believes that Jesus was the Messiah predicted by the Jewish prophets. Missionaries claim that Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Messianic prophecies. Many Christians find it difficult to understand why Jews don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah. What Christians fail to realize is that the prophets painted a broad and comprehensive picture of the Messiah and the Messianic era. This picture has nothing to do with Jesus and Christianity. When we read the scripture without any preconceived notions about the Messiah, when we read God’s promises for Israel’s glorious future age, we can readily see why the Jewish people cannot accept the claims of Christianity. The passages that allegedly support the claims of the missionary are being wrenched out of their broad scriptural context. (This is aside from the fact that the passages quoted by the missionaries are generally being wrenched out of their local textual context.)
Numbers 24:14-19, Deuteronomy 4:30, 30:1-10, 32:43, Jeremiah 3:14-18, 16:14,15,19, 23:3-6, 30:3,7-11,16-25, 31:1-39, 32:37-44, 33:6-26, 46:27,28, 50:4,5,19,20, Ezekiel 11:17-20, 20:40-44, 28:25-26, 34:9-16,22-31, 36:6-15,22-38, 37:1-28, 38:1-48:35, Isaiah 1:26,27, 2:2-4, 4:2-6, 10:33-12:6, 24:21-25:9, 30:26, 34:1-35, 40:1-11, 41:10-20, 43:5-10, 44:1-5 49:8-26, 51:11,22-52:12, 54:1-55:5, 56:7, 60:1-63:9, 65:17-25, 66:10-24, Hosea 2:1-3,16-25, Joel 3;1-5, 4:1-21, Amos 9:11-15, Obadiah 1:17-21, Micah 4:1-7, 5:1-13, 7:8-20, Zephaniah 3:9-20, Zechariah 2:9, 8:2-8, 14:3-21, Malachi 3:4,16-24, Psalm 51:20,21, 69:36,37, 98:1-3, 102:14-23, 126:1-6, Daniel 2:44, 7:18,22,27, 12:2,3,
Christians believe that there can be no atonement for sin without a blood sacrifice. This concept is not to be found in the Jewish Bible. Instead we find that God assures us again and again that God forgives anyone who turns to Him in sincerity and truth. The clear and unequivocal teaching of the Bible is that repentance is all that God demands for the atonement of sin.
Genesis 4:7, Deuteronomy 4:29, 30:1-10, Judges 10:16, 2Samuel 12:13, 1Kings 8:33-36,48-50, 2Kings 20:1-6, Jeremiah 3:22, 4:1-4, 18:7,8, 25:5, 26:3,19, 35:15, 36:3,7, Ezekiel 3:18, 18:21-23,27,28,31,32, 33:11,14-16,19, Isaiah 1:16-18, 55:7, Hosea 14:2-10, Joel 2:12-27, Jonah 3:10, Micah 6:7,8, Psalm 51:19, Job 11:13-20, 22:21-30, 33:26-30, Daniel 4:24, Nehemiah 1:9, 2Chronicles 6:24-30,34-39, 7:13, 12:6,7, 30:9, 33:12,13,
Christianity teaches that no good works of men are counted as righteous before God. It is difficult to think of a concept that is more contrary to the Jewish scriptures. The Tabernacle and the Temple narratives, which take up so much of scripture, tell us how God favors the obedient works of men – Exodus 25:1-31:11, 35:4-40:38, Leviticus 8:1-9:24 Numbers 7:1-8:26, 1Kings 5:16-8:13, 2Chronicles 1:18-7:3. These narratives show us how important this concept is to God. The fact that the details of the people’s obedience are recounted and repeated demonstrates how significant these acts are in God’s eyes.
The following scriptural references all demonstrate that the Christian teaching which denigrates the deeds of men has no basis in the words of the Living God.
Genesis 7:1, 18:19, 22:16,18, 26:5, 30:18, Exodus 1:21, 4:25,26, 15:26, 20:6, 23:22,25, Leviticus 25:18,19, 26:3-13, Numbers 15:40, Deuteronomy 17:18-20, 30:11-20, 32:47, 1Samuel 12:14, 15:22, 2Samuel 22:21-27, 1Kings 2:3, 3:14, 6:12,13, 8:23,25, 9:4,5, 11:33,34,38, 14:8, 15:5, 2Kings 10:30, Jeremiah 7:3-7,23, 9:23, 17:7-8,10, 22:1-4,16, Ezekiel 3:21, 18:5-9, 17, 20:11, Isaiah 1:19, 3:10, 56:4-7, 58:8-14, Hosea 6:6, 10:12, Amos 5:14,15, Zephaniah 2:3, Psalm 1:1-3, 15:1-5, 18:21-27, 24:3-5, 25:10, 37:31, 41:2, 103:17,18, 106:30,31, 112:1-10, 128:1-6, Proverbs 12:22, 13:6, 15:26, 16:6, 19:17, 21:3,21, Ecclesiastes 12:13,14, Daniel 9:4, 12:3, Nehemiah 1:5, 1Chronicles 22:13, 2Chronicles 7:17, 15:7.
Law of Moses
The practical observance of God’s Law as dictated through Moses is not highly regarded in the teachings of Christianity. Many Christian denominations believe that with the death of Jesus, the Law of Moses was completely annulled. Others believe that it is still practicable for Jews to observe the Law of Moses, but it is not a significant part of their relationship with God. The Jewish scriptures teach that the Law of Moses is eternal, it is holy and beautiful and it is central in our relationship with God. The following list of scriptural passages all speak of the importance of the Law. Some of these passages teach us that the Law is relevant for all generations, into and including the Messianic age. Other passages confirm that the Law is beautiful, holy, life-giving and central to our relationship with God.
Genesis 2:3, 17:7-13, Exodus 12:14,17,24,42, 13:10, 19:9, 27:21, 29:28,42, 30:8,10,21, 31:16,17, Leviticus 3:17, 6:11,15, 7:34,36, 10:9,15, 16:29,31,34, 17:7, 18:5, 23:14,21,31,41,43, 24:3,8,9, Numbers 15:15,21,23,38, 18:8,11,19, 19:10, 25:13, 35:29, Deuteronomy 4:2,6,8, 5:3, 6:18,24,25, 7:11-16, 8:1, 10:12,13, 11:1,9,13-15,18-25,27, 12:28, 13:1,18,19, 14:1,2, 15:4,5, 16:20, 18:5, 19:9, 25:15, 28:1-14, 29:8, 30:1,2,15-20, 31:21, 34:10-12, Joshua 1:7,8, Judges 5:31, Jeremiah 31:32, Ezekiel 36:27, 37:24, 44:23,24, Malachi 3:22, Psalm 19:8-11, 119:1-176, Esther 9:28, Nehemiah 9:13,
Dear reader, I am well aware that Christian theologians have managed to explain all of these verses according to the teachings of Christianity. But the Church is reading these verses with the preconceived notion that the doctrines Christianity are already established truths. That is not the setting into which God placed these verses. God gave us these verses before anyone ever heard of Christianity. God wrote these passages in order to establish a worldview in our hearts and minds so that we can evaluate claims such as those presented by Christianity. Ask yourself, how would a Jew have read these verses before the advent of Christianity?
What attitudes towards God, towards Israel, and towards the commandments would the Jew have acquired from these verses? Imagine a person imbued with the spirit of these verses. How would such a person react to the teachings of the trinity, replacement theology, and annulment of the Law? Can you still believe that it is a supernatural blindness that prevents the Jewish people from accepting the doctrines of the Church?
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
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Thank you Rabbi Blumenthal for a new valuable resource in the blogging world.
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What does the Torah teach was to happen to any Israelite who did not observe Passover and apply the blood of the Passover Lamb to their homes or lives?
This article will answer your question
Hi prorealisrael. What was required in the major test of Abraham’s faith & loyalty before GOD made His Covenant with him and his seed “of faith” for forever ? – and what is it about “the life in the blood” that makes an atonement for sins ? … the name YehOshua has always meant: YahvA, Saviour-Redeemer.
Yes, God is salvation. But that is only a part, a very small part of God’s relationship with us and of us with God. God did not create humans, so that we could be “saved”, especially not saved from ourselves nor saved from God. God did not create blood so that it could be shed, especially not so someone else (heathen theology) or something else’s blood is shed for us. God has the ability to save without the use of blood. Two of the most common words to describe God in the Tanach is that God is “Merciful and Just”. Unless one means that we lose our material body and shed our blood at death so that we can get to heaven, get to God. But then what is resurrection for or about?
God could always get to us. God could always save us. But for us to get “at one” with God should take some action from us. No intermediary, no one else, can do it for us or else there was no real purpose for our living to begin with. Now sacrifice was a way for powerless man to give God some type of love offering, a thanksgiving offering, a “I’m really, really sorry, see what I am willing to go through to show you that I’m sorry” offering. A man may buy his wife flowers; it means little if he asks his neighbor to go and buy the flowers (and pay for them as well) and it would be worse, an insult, if the man asks his wife to give him some money out of her purse (although he has hundreds of $ in his wallet) so that he can go buy some flowers to “make it up to her for hurting her”. If we have nothing to give, but sincere words (or a homemade card) that is worth more than for your neighbor to shed his blood to “appease” the offended party.
I love the points you make; you present a fresh angle of perspective of things that I never thought.
The entire purpose of this blog – the witness of the Jewish nation – is to encourage people to put their faith in the same One that Abraham trusted in – and no one else
As for the “life in the blood” – yes indeed – God did ordain that in the context of the Temple – animal sacrifices can atone – that is why He promised to restore them. Are YOU looking forward to the restoration of the animal sacrifices offered by the Aaronic priests?
Well, R.Yisroel, I put my faith & trust IN THE LORD GOD OF YISRAEL, – YahvA-YahOvah, … and His Eternal Son & Messiah-Saviour-Redeemer, Yeshua ha MOshE yahch. – The Truth is: THEY ARE ONE IN THE SPIRIT, IN BEING, IN CHARACTER, and TRUTH. For it is written that He spoke, John 5:19-30
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 So Jesus answered them by saying, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the Son is able to do nothing of Himself (of His own accord); but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way [in His turn].
20 The Father dearly loves the Son and discloses to (shows) Him everything that He Himself does. And He will disclose to Him (let Him see) greater things yet than these, so that you may marvel and be full of wonder and astonishment.
21 Just as the Father raises up the dead and gives them life [makes them live on], **even so the Son also gives life to whomever He wills and is pleased to give it.
22 Even the Father judges no one, for He has given all judgment (the last judgment and the whole business of judging) entirely into the hands of the Son,**
23 So that all men may give honor (reverence, homage) to the Son just as they give honor to the Father. ***[In fact] whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, Who has sent Him.***
24 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life.
25 Believe Me when I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the time is coming and is here now when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear it shall live.
26 For even as the Father has life in Himself and is self-existent, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself and be self-existent.
27 And He has given Him authority and granted Him power to execute (exercise, practice) judgment because He is [a]a Son of man [very man].
28 Do not be surprised and wonder at this, for the time is coming when all those who are in the tombs shall hear His voice,
29 And they shall come out–those who have practiced doing good [will come out] to the resurrection of [new] life, and those who have done evil will be raised for judgment [raised to meet their sentence].(A)
30 I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord–but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.
John 5:27 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
John 5:29 : Dan 12:2
Jesus is THE FINAL WORD of GOD, … and THE FINAL LAMB OF GOD sacrifice/atonement for all soul-sins of those who receive Him. … those who reject Him: pay for the eternal consequences of their own sins WITHOUT a propitiation or atonement or blood-covering. – this is according to the words of Jesus Himself. … John 8:24&58 and elsewhere.
Son is not the same as Father, that is a lie from the devil. Messiah is not the same thing as God for a messiah works for God, his Lord. Unless you believe there is some higher, supreme spiritual entity that is a god and master over both God and God’s messiah. Lamb of God is not the same as God, who is God to the Lamb. But a lamb is not a god over God. That would make God the Creator less than the being that only exists because God created it. God then is no longer the Alpha or the Aleph. Which would allow the possibility that satan can be not only a god, but a father to God and a father and god to you. Now Jesus believed satan could be a Father, so Jesus could worship satan and be satan’s servant and thereby also Jesus could be one and the same with the devil. But to the God of Jacob, the God of Israel, it would be an absurdity, an abomination, it is blasphemy. If not, a man like you could be defined as a god over God. God who condemned idolatry would Himself be an idol (don’t worry God won’t strike me with lightning. My name is also Ahi’yah, or brother of God. Ahi’yah is a prophet in your bible. According to some peoples interpretation of Tanach, that makes me a true, living brother of God, just like calling Jesus by a man’s name, Immanuel, somehow makes Jesus into a god, a replacement of God according to the replacement theology dreamed up by men. Come to think of it, if Jesus is 100% a god and 100% man (human), then by definition man (any man or any woman) is one and the same with God. According to your replacement theology, approved of by Jesus and your church, there is is not a single thing that can be used to distinguish man from God; they are one and the same, 100% of the time. I guess it is kosher for sinful men to worship a female porn star. Like the alcoholic, who no longer has the alcohol but now the alcohol has the alcoholic. The possessor is now the possessed. No longer man created in God’s spiritual “image”, but a god created in man’s image.
If the anointed one of God is the same as the anointer, why anoint? If a lamb created and possessed by God (lamb of God) is equal to God, than why have a lamb or why have a God??? Or you, golden calf folks may want to go back to Egypt of old, and worship the lamb gods directly. Forget that God first said he was not a man nor a son of man, stay with those who worship man as a god, worship a son as a father. As I wrote earlier, Jesus thought they were the same and he believed the devil was a father. So either worshipping Jesus or the father devil, it doesn’t really matter.
I know what I wrote is very upsetting to most decent people. But your illogical logic leads us to these types of conclusions. If you really believe A=B and they are one and the same (and you believe that is always true) then simplify your life and maybe experiment for a month by never saying A and always say B, or vice versa. Never say God & always say messiah. Never say Father & always say “son of man”. Try it, if you can.
Please read my post before you make any furthur statements that are based in error.
Where is the error in saying father & son are 2 different words meaning 2 different things? They do not have equal relationships to each other, nor would they have equal relationships to us. You are trying to confuse (like a devil? who Jesus claimed was also a father of man and therefore also part of the godhead and thereby also of the same substance as as the person Jesus). God in Heaven is poorly represented by using earthly, humanistic analogies such as father, son, or holy spirit (as if a holy spirit is somehow distinct from, and separated from God as a “separate person” or as separate “arm” or “leg” part of the “godhead”. Your concept of a god or godhead is not a unity, but is a split up god. And you attempt to represent that triune god as persons or substances, in-dwellings, manifestations or representions descends into the perfect definition of an idol. God as one, as a unity, is a much more complex idea to grasp (a higher theology) and at the same time such an easy concept to grasp that it can even be understood by a child without having to take a course in theology and philosophy. If your godhead is the same as God, why say father, holy spirit, wisdom, Sophia, son, son of man, god incarnated into a mere man and yet no-man, left arm, rock, tree, and just say one word, godhead or even God?
Jesus is NOT one and the same as the God of Israel – according to his own words – and according to YOU. If he would be “one and the same” then anyone who worships the God of Israel is already worshipping Jesus – and you wouldn’t bother trying to convert Jews to faith in Jesus – when Jesus spoke to people who already believe in the God of Israel – and condemned them for not believing in him – he is admitting that he is not the God of Israel – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/knock-knock/
In any case – How would you answer someone who claims that he is one and the same as Jesus and that your belief in Jesus is meaningless unless you also believe in him?
Jesus is the Memra Rabbi.
Hi, I write my following message with respect as I see that you also are respectful.
When I first read your comment it appeared to me that you could be correct, if Jews were already worshipping and believing in God, why should Yeshua condemn them for not believing in him (Yeshua) if he is God/Messiah/Redeemer?
That would make much sense but this is not a perfect world where the people of Israel were all true believers. Yeshua applauded those who loved the Holy One, those that proved so by following His Torah. Yet, He condemned those that rejected God and His ways, clinging to their own mixture of man made commandments, and there were many of those. Still now, many. It is easy to confess with our mouths that we love Him, it is easy to recite the Shema, but Yah looks at the heart and wants our hearts circumcised more. That is to whom Yeshua was saying “you do not believe in me”.
I doubt Yeshua was talking to the righteous ones when He condemned the people for not believing in Him.
He came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel afterall.
Why was/is there a need for a Messiah back then/now? Yah gave a certificate of divorce to Israel as explained in Jeremiah 3 and according to His own law, one cannot re-marry unless there be death, and so the death of His son is most pleasing to Him (Isaiah 53), and resurrection so that He can prepare us for a new marriage.
YHWH is indeed a consuming fire (Exodus 33:20, Deuteronomy 4:24), so much that if He were to show His true presence, we would all die. So, to make it simpler and easier on us, as proclaimed since Genesis, He sent His only son, Yeshua the Savior. That’s how I see it anyways :).
Ramsey I appreciate the sharing of your perspective – but its the Bible’s perspective that counts for both of us (the Jewish Bible) – I listed 1000 verses explaining how God’s word directs us to reject your perspective – do you have another way of reading these verses?
■I am very pleased to take the time to respond to this article, and I find it encouraging that you are willing to have an open dialogue with someone such as myself. It is my prayer that this response will enlighten you with regards to the Christian paradigm as your article has enlightened me with concern to the prevailing Jewish paradigm surrounding these issues. Furthermore, I appeal to the God of Heaven, The Creator of the Universe, He who is Master over everything, whom we both seek to serve, that through this correspondance a precedent will be set in how Jews and Christians should interact with one another. And again I pray that here and now a wonderful friendship will be formed that dispite disagreements will yield great fruit in both of our lives, and in the lives of all who see it. Again Rabbi Blumenthal, I thank you for this opportunityand may God count me worthy of the tasks He has laid before me.
■Let me begin by stating that I am of the former “Flavor” of Christianity mentioned in your article rather that the latter. I am a Christian who very much believeves that Jesus/Yeshua is the Messiah of David, predicted by the prophets and pointed to in the Torah. Yet I am not someone who can’t understand why others would think differently. Our Scriptures (the New Testament) clearly indicate to us that no one (Jews or Gentiles) can truly accept Jesus as Messiah and the Lord unless God draws him through the Holy Spirit (John Capter 6, I Corinthians 12:3). That being said, I do not want you to think that the New Testament teaches that man has no free will in the matter. On the contrary, our scriptures plainly indicate that once a man is drawn by God through the Holy Spirit, he then has free will to accept or reject the call of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:16, Rev. 3:20, Acts 7:51, Matthew 23:57) Furthermore, our scriptures indicate that this call and “drawing” goes out to all people (every individual on earth). [John 12:32, John 16:7-11] and that God desires all to repent and be saved from the bondage of sin and death. (Acts 17:30, I Tim. 2:1-6) and it is for these reasons the first flavor of Christian mentioned in your article asks God that the scales be removed not only from the eyes of the Jewish people, but from the eyes of all who reject Jesus as Messiah and God.
■Which brings me to your first charge; that the foundational teachings of Christianity are nowhere to be found in the Hebrew scriptures. I must respectfully disagree with you on this point Rabbi Blumenthal. The Hebrew scriptures clearly indicate that God alone is the source of salvation and that it is to Him that atonment must be made. And as a Christian, I can afirm with great joy the words of The Lord recorded by the Prophet Isaiah; “I, I am the Lord and besides me there is no savior.” ! [Isaiah 43:11] Amen, it is true!
■Now you or one of your readers “may say, ah! But you believe Jesus is your Savior!” And to that I respond Amen, it is true! Yet you seem to be overlooking the fact that our scriptures teach us that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh! So then it is not to a human being that Christians look to for salvation, it is to God Himself! And while I know you are familiar with the New Testatment Doctrine of the Trinity Rabbi, some others may not be, so please allow me to attempt to explain this New Testament Doctrine for the sake of understanding:
Dear Reader, whomever you are, whether you are a person who is uninformed regarding this Doctrine, a person who is hearing of it for the first time or a person who has misconceptions and or misgivings about the concept of the Trinity, let me begin by thanking you for your interest in this response to Rabbi Blumenthal’s article. And let me further say to you that though I will attempt to help you understand this concept, I am in no way an expert on the subject and freely admit to you that this is a difficult doctrine that even some Christians may take issue with me on, this doesn’t mean they aren’t Christians, it just means they are wrong about this issue. :o)
The concept of the Trinity is the idea that just as a human being is one entity with one center of self-consciousness, God is one entity with three centers of self-consciousness. It is not the idea that God is three distinct individuals who all bear the name God and just happen to agree with each other on every issue, nor is is the idea that God is one individual with one center of self-consciousness who takes on different roles at the different times. Rather it is the idea that God is a complex being who is one God manifest in three personages. Consider for a moment this analogy; Just as you are one person made up of several parts, so God is ONE complex entity made up of 3 individuals. Just as the nerves that spread out into your hands and feet from you brain contribute to your being as a whole, so the three individuals who make up the Godhead contribute to His being as a whole. And just as the nerves that run through your body communicate information both to and from your mind, so do the three persons who are the one God. In other words the Triune God who we as Christians believe in is similiar in essence to you in that you have a head and two arms which are all conected by the same subsance ( your flesh). But unlike you, the substance that connects the 3 personages of God, (God the Father being analogous to your head, God the Son being the analogous to the right hand, and God the Holy Spirit being analogous to the left hand [setting asside the stigma of the left hand in some cultures].) is a spiritual, metaphysical substance.
To take this analogy further, let us consider that you awoke one morning only to find that your right and left hands had developed the capacity to reason directly with your mind, each communicating reasoned thought impulses to you, not just impulses based on tactile sensation. Now imagine your right hand reminding you of the list of things you had to accomplish today while your left hand says to you remember to call your mother and wish her a Happy Birthday! And so it is with regard to the concept of the Trinity except that God is much more complex that our finite minds can imagine.
But just so you know that my approach to this doctrine is indeed accurate, allow me to share with you the systematic approach that leads the student of scriptures ( both Hebrew and Christian) to this conclusion. It is clear from scripture, both the Hebrew text and the New Testment that God is One being and that there is no other beside Him. This is related to us in the Shema; (Deut 6:4) “Hear O Israel; The Lord our God, The Lord is One “(or more accurately according to the context. Hear O Israel; The Lord is Our God, The Lord Alone). Not only is this related to us in the Shema, but also in many other verses of the Tanakh. I Kings 8:60 and Isaiah 45:5 & 18 for example.
But this fact is also taught in the New Testament as well. One classic example comes fromt he lips of Jesus himself as he answers a scribe who had asked Him; “What Commandement is most important of all?” Jesus answering him said, “The most important is: “Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But of course, this isn’t the end of what the New Testament has to say on the issue; consider the words of Paul: “…is God the God of Jews only? or is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is One…” [Rom. 3:29 & 30a]
And that still isn’t the end of the matter; take a look at I Cor. 8:4, I Tim. 2:5, & James 2:19. And so it should be clear to you that the New Testament is in agreement with the teaching concerning the issue of God’s unity (oneness). Yet as you shall see, the New Testament proclaims that God’s unity is compound not absolute (in other words, God is one in the same sense that all the parts of the tabernacle where put together in such a way that their was one Tabernacle consisting of many parts rather than God being one being as a human is). For it also proclaims that not only is the Father God; Matt. 6:9, in accordance with Psalm 89:26, and Isa.63:16. But so is Jesus (The Messiah, also known as God the Son [Heb. 1:8-12, John 1:1-3, Heb. 1:8-12]) as is the Holy Spirit (Matt.12:28, Acts 5:3-4, Romans 8:9, I Cor. 6:11).
But not only does the New Testament declare that all three are God, it also indicates to us that all three are distinct from one another. The verses declaring the Father distinct from the Son and Spirit are; Matt11:27, Matt. 26:39, & John 14:16-17. While verses declaring the Son as separate from the Father and Spirit are: Mark 1:9-11, John 17:1-5, John 7:39, and John 16:7. And the verses that declare that the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father and the Son are: Luke 11:13, John 14:26, John 15:26, I Peter 1:1, Romans 8:26&27, Matt. 28:19 and II Cor. 13:14.
So how did the early Christians put all this together and come up with something like the analogy I described to you above? They took a good hard look at John 1:1-18, as well as a few other verses! But let’s look at these in particular [John 1:1-18]:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) And from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”
Do you see the significance of these verses? They are telling us plainly who Jesus revealed himself to be. They tell us that Jesus was no mere man but that he was with God from the beging (though he was is some sense a seperate enitiy from the Father) and yet is God (Of the same substance and being as the Father.). They tell us that Jesus claimed to be the Word of God made flesh. Let us remember that the Gospel of John was originally written in Greek so the expression of word is a translation from the Greek word logos which means word, reason or intellect. Now this same word was used by Philo of Alexandria to describe the concept of the Memra to his Greek speaking audiance. So what we have in the above verses is a clear depiction of the Logos of God (either his reason and intellect [in Hellenistic understanding], or the Memra [steming from a Jewish understanding]) becoming flesh to bring light to all mankind!
Therefore, what is being depicted here is either a personification of certain aspects of God (his reason and intellect) or a Personaifaction of the Memra of the Targums (Let us remember that John was Jewish so it is more likley he viewed Logos in the same way Philo did.). Now, of the Memra Gerschom Scolem ( A Jewish historian and philosopher as well as the first professor of Jewish Mysticism at Hebrew university of Jerusalem.) said : “…The Memra- the paraphrase used in the targumim-… Is not merely a lingustic device for overcoming the problem of biblical anthromorphisms ( As the Targumim translate YHVH as the word of the lord or the Memra of the lord whenever YHVH is seen athromorphisized or where two YHVHs are indicated by the Hebrew text [explaination in parenthesis added by me for clarity]) … The Menra… is… a world permeating Force, a reality in the world of matter and mind, the emminant aspect of Elohim holding all things under its omnipresent sway.” [ Gerschom Scolem…”On the mystical shape os the Godhead: Basic concepts in the Kabbalah Pg. 181-182]. And it is with Gerschom Scolem that Philo of Alexandria agrees. Philo also considered the word of the Lord (particularly as mentioned in Psalm 33:6, 107:20, and 147:15) to be a personal force. In his essy “On the creation” Philo states: “Man was made a likeness and imitation of the word, when the devine breath was breathed on his face. [On the creation … XLVIII 139, LOEB edition 1, pp. 110-111]. And again he states : “…Man has been made after the image of God, Not however after the image of anything created… Man’s soul having been made after the image of the archetype, the word of the First Cause.” [Noah’s work as planter… I:18-20, LOEB III, pp. 222-223].
Now you could say “Hey wait a minuite!, John must have gotten the idea that Jesus was the word from some teaching similar to Philo’s!”. Now I doubt that is the case but lets say that is so. Does that mean John is wrong and Jesus isn’t the Word? Not nessesarily. John could have heard a similar teaching to this and applied it to Jesus through the leading of the Holy Spirit or he could have come up with the Idea directly from Jesus or directly through the inspiration of theHoly Spirit. Regardless, the fact remains that our scriptures teach that Jesus is The manifestation of the Memra which according to those quoted above and many others (including many Chasidim) is a personal force which eminiates from God and is indistiguishable from God.
Remember that Philo taught what he taught based on what he saw in the Hebrew Scriptures, as did Gersham Scholom And as the Chasidim do. So the question is not wether Christians Worship the same God as the Jews but rather who’s concept of God is correct. Is Jesus the Memra manifest in the flesh? Is God more complex than your Rabbi is indicating?
■Now as you know Rabbi Blumenthal, there is much, much more I could have brought up, just as our mutual friend Dr. Michael L. Brown did in “Answering Jewish objections to Jesus Vol. 2” But as you are currently debating Dr. Brown on these issues, I thought I’d leave off on the topic where I did. Please feel free to correct me on anything I may have unintentionally misrepresented with regards to Judaism. My hope was to explain to your audience that Christians do not trust in a human being for salvation, but in God alone, just as you do. As it has been revealed to us that Jesus, the Father and the Spirit are all one God (all one being in fact). So in the same sense that the Jewish concept of Memra can lead a Jew to believe that the Memra is a personal manifestation of God, so we Christians consider Jesus a personal manifestation of the Memra. Thus it is to God alone that we give Glory and Honor.
■And so it is that the charges you raise against us concerning the foundational teachings of Christianity not being taught anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures is false, as are the charges that we worship a man or a created being for the simple reason that Jesus is God. Now I whole heartly affirm what you said regarding Gen. 1:1, Ex. 20:11, Deut. 10:14 and Isaiah 42:5. Yet I would take some issue with what you said concerning the Israelites in the wilderness, but only because I believe God taught them and us much more than just His Mastery over nature, but then again I would affirm Deut. 4:35,39.
■Now with regards to the idea that “Christian Doctrine exalts one inhabitant of earth and points to him as an object of religious devotion…” I would ask how this can be a violation of central Biblical teaching when it has been revealed to us that Jesus the Messiah is God manifested in the flesh? Yet I whole heartly affirm that “The unequivocal message of scripture is that every last inhabitant of heaven and earth is subject to the creator. Even Jesus who was both fully man and fully God obeyed our creator even though it was through Him that all things were created as not only John pointed out, but in a round about way, so did Philo.
■On the election of Israel, I must say that you are correct in your charge against the “Church” in history. But what we must be aware of is this behavior from the “Church” was predicted in the New Textament by Paul, who was speaking by the Holy Spirit. But what Paul was also clear on is that the promises of God are eternal! So any form of “Replacement” theology is heresy and it’s proponets are not teaching what is taught in scripture. I plan to write an article against replacement theology soon and will send you a link. But in the meantime I encourage you and your readers to take a look at Romans 11 which though it comes from a portion of scripture that is hotly debated among Christians, it clearly shows that followers of Jesus/Yeshua are engrafted branches into the elect vine of Israel. But I will treat this in more depth soon. By the way Rabbi, your list of verses on this subject is greatly appreciated and gladly received!
■Now concerning the messianic expectation, I must confess that I am but a student with regards to this concern and cannot add anything to Dr. Michael Brown’s “Answering Jewish objections to Jesus Vol. 3” at this time, however, I have promised Rabbi Eli Cohen an in depth look at Zechariah Chapter 9, so I will also inform you when it is finished so that you too may take a look.
■As for atonement, concerning this subject I will also point you to Dr. Brown as I cannot add anything to this subject either, but I think that any objections you have raised here have been adequately responded to by Dr. Brown’s books.
■Now, on to works! This happens to be a favorite subject of mine because the “Church” needs to be poked and prodded into performing works. And while we are taught that works cannot lead one to salvation (which comes only through the grace and mercy of God) our Faith is meaningless without them! Consider these verses from the New Testatement: Matt. 3:7-9, in which John the Baptist informs certain Pharisees and Sadducees that it is not enough to be born of the lineage of Abraham, but that one must “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” While Jesus explains to a rich young ruler that he must not only keep the commandments, but give up greed and follow Him [Jesus/Yeshua] Matt. 19:16-21. And James/Jacob explains to us all that Faith without works is dead and will avail us nothing. James 1:22-27, James 2:14-26 and James 3:13-18. So while many, indeed if not most “Christians” prefer to stay ignorant of the fact that they have been regenerated partly so they can know God and partly so they are capable of performing good works, their willful ignorance does not negate this fact. As the Apostle Paul declares: “…by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing; It is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them.”
■So in short Rabbi, while your charge that “Christian teaching denegrates the deeds of men.” is partly true (in that good works do not lead to salvation but rather salvation leads to works that are truly good) you misrepresent us by implying that we all teach works are unnecessary. Indeed it is our Lord Himself who said “every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matt. 7:9. Therefore I submit to you that any person professing to be a Christian yet acting in a manner unlike that of the examples set before us by Jesus/Yeshua and his Apostles is not a Christian at all but is what the New Testatment calls a “false brother.” And sadly we see many examples of false brethren who were accepted by the masses as true Christians throughout “church” history. And it is for this very reason that all too many professing Christians today are indistinguishable from sinful human society. The very society they have been commanded to reject in favor of the Kingdom of God.
■Now concerning the Law of Moses. I have to admit that I need to study this topic further so that I can understand its fullfilment in Christ, (and it is all fullfilled in Christ!) So on this topic I must refer you to more learned men than myself (such as Dr. Brown) yet I do intend to look at these verses more fully so that your thoughts on the subject will be made clearer to me and I hope that in the future we can have further correspondence regarding this and other issues.
■The intent of this letter was not to lead you to Christ, but rather to provide a defense of the charges you have laid out against my faith. Now it is my hope that this letter will provoke within you as well as your readers, a desire to understand true Christianity more fully. For the simple reason that had Jews understood more about Christianity and Christians more about Judaism many of the horrors of the past would not have occurred. And I challenge you and your readers to learn the New Testament so that if you encounter one of the false brethren, you can know what the New Testament teaches and can provoke him to change his ways by encouraging him to follow the real Jesus, and not his own arrogantly held dogma.
With Regards, Cliff Wilson
First of all I would like to thank you for your respectful tone and for the positive attitude that you bring to this discussion. The time and effort you took to articulate your beliefs are appreciated. Thanks
You wrote – “Which brings me to your first charge; that the foundational teachings of Christianity are nowhere to be found in the Hebrew scriptures. I must respectfully disagree with you on this point Rabbi Blumenthal.”
Cliff, after reading what you wrote on the subject – I still don’t see why you disagree with my statement. At best I can understand why you think that the doctrine that you accept is not contradicted by the Jewish Scriptures, but you still have not demonstrated that these doctrines are to be found in the Jewish Scriptures.
The key point I am trying to make in my article is not that you can’t squeeze Christian doctrine into the Jewish Scriptures (I debate that point in different articles) – my point is that if you try to read the Jewish Scriptures with a pre-Christian mind-set – in other words – you allow the Jewish Scriptures to form your world-view – you would never accept the doctrines of Christianity.
As for your arguments about the concept of “Memra” and your analogy about the trinity – first of all – I want to point out to you that none of these concepts are to be found in the Jewish Scriptures. Why not? Why are some concepts repeated again and again – while the concept of “memra” and “trinity” are nowhere to be found? Why did God not put these ideas in His book?
Second – I want you to realize that your arguments can be used to justify devotion to any created being – as long as you believe that this being is: “the word of God made flesh” (or stone, or wood).
Finally – please realize that idolatry is not a technical legality or a philosophical abstract. Idolatry is a sin of the heart. The feelings that Christianity encourages that we bear in our hearts towards Jesus are rooted in the actions, personality and words that were contained in a human body. You could have all of those feelings that Christianity encourages towards Jesus regardless of the theological arguments about his alleged divinity.
The submission that the Jewish Scriptures encourage towards God are rooted in the fact that He is our Creator, the Sustainer of all existence and the Master of all. We owe everything to Him, we belong to Him and He is the One source of all goodness. These facts are what the feelings in our heart towards God are rooted in. You could have all of the feelings of reverence and love towards the Creator without having heard of Jesus. All of the philosophical arguments about “memra” don’t change what is happening in our heart.
Concerning the election of Israel – do you believe that Israel is God’s witness nation? Do you believe that the Aaronic priesthood is still valid? Do you believe that the teachers of Israel have any authority? Do you believe that the sanctity that we experience in our observance of the Sabbath is truly from God?
Concerning Messianic expectation and atonement – you refer me to Dr. Brown’s books. Let me refer you to “Contra Brown”, “The Elephant and the Suit”, and “Critique of volume 3” where I articulate why Dr. Brown’s arguments are untenable. (These articles are available on my blog on the page “Links” and under the category “Critique”)
Concerning works – would you agree that God uses our works through which to establish His dwelling place on earth?
Again Cliff, I thank you for the time, effort, and tone of your writing. I look forward to a fruitful discussion.
Your Pharisee friend
Here are the links to the articles I mentioned
Click to access The-Elephant-and-the-suit.pdf
Thank you Rabbi For your kind Response and though I differ with you on this issue, I respect what you are saying and am greatful for the chance to understand your mind on the subject. After reviewing the articles Above I will respond further.
Before I go to review the material you have offered let me say One thing with regards to your assessement of Jesus as the Memra: In your response above you indicated that If we can call Jesus the Memra and therefore imply that he is this personal force that eminates from God thus saying that in essence he is God become flesh We could do the same thing with a rock or a tree. Now with all due respect Rabbi, A rock or a Tree does not have personal attributes nor did it fulfill Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12:
Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.
As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
so shall he sprinkle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which has not been told them they see,
and that which they have not heard they understand.
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes[h] an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Nor did a rock or a tree rise from the dead and ascend into heaven To “sit” at the right hand of the Father.
The arguments that you present now are not theological. From a theological standpoint – if you believe God can become a man – then you must believe that God can become a statue – “is anything impossible with God”? – Instead you present some new arguments – you say that a rock cannot have personal attributes – since when is this a requirement for God to be able to manifest Himself into anything? And besides – even with your argument – it could still be any person – not just Jesus.
As for Isaiah 53 – I wrote at length on this subject (one of the categories on this blog is entitled “Isaiah 53”) – I would point out to you that anyone who has suffered and has been rejected because of that suffering could claim to have fulfilled Isaiah 53.
You argue that a rock or a tree did not rise from the dead or sit at the right hand of God. – not that I believe that Jesus did either – but since when would God need these criteria to be able to manifest Himself in the physical world? (-according to your theology)
In any case – I look forward to your responses.
Rabbi, Jesus was a real historical person, His death and I would say his Ressurection are well documented. Now simply Because this was unexpected Does not mean it isn’t true. Several times God warned us through the Prophets that certain things would be Stumbling Stones, Jesus is quite obviously a Stumbling stone.
Now the Resurrection is what vindicates the Words of Jesus. It is what tells us that God is who Jesus said he is and that The Father Approved of his mesage. The prophets set for us a very distinct timeline in which Messiah had to Come. If Jesus is not the Messiah, God is untrue. And the Prophets are false prophets. When we look at Daniel, Zacaria and Haggai we see that Messiah Had to come before the destruction of the second temple. And when we look at Daniel in particular we see that Messiah had to come around the Time Jesus came and that he also had to be cut off. Now what Jesus is recorded as doing is a fulfillment f Isa. 53 that cannot be accomplished by any Human being. He made attonement for our sins, he fulfilledthe requirements of the sacrificial system. Now all that is required is Repentance and Faith in his sacrifice.
As for the Rock and tree comment Rabbi… Come on now, A Rock or a tree was not to be the Messiah, nor was an Idol. And it seems rather clear to me that Messiah as indicated by the Prophets was indeed sopposed to (at the very least) somthing more than a mere Human being.
God Bless – Cliff.
His “death” & “resurrection” are so poorly “documented” that it is far more accurate to say that his life was non-existent or made little or no impact on Jews or Romans. Who did Jesus “say he was”, since he supposedly wrote nothing and you weren’t there to hear what was said? We could read the gospels and interpret them to show that he displeased God (cursed tree, failure to cleanse and protect his father’s house, or to protect his followers, etc). There were many “who were raised from the dead before Jesus was” and “spoke or visited with many”, but this went unnoticed not only by Jews and by Romans and other gentiles, but by other disciples, apostles, or followers.
God is not “untrue” because there is great doubt about your version of a messiah and about your viewpoint of god. God’s existence doesn’t depend on any messiah’s existence. A messiah can be a failure or a pretender, but that does not make God “untrue, It only makes your opinions untrue or naive or a self-delusion or misquoted, etc. We can say that, just like you might say that neither the “book of john’s revelation” nor Jesus is untrue, just because some “modern learned prophet and great man of god” predicted that Jesus would “come back on such & such a day” but it didnt happen. What did Jesus “mission to jews” accomplish (other than to show a story can be written using previous writings), when he only made promises that had already been made, said good things that were old and that had already been said before, and said some new things that contradicted the old and were “bad” and stumbling blocks to the Righteous Jew and non-Jew God-fearers but a surrender to pagan philosophies. The “requirements” of the sacrificial system were fulfilled in a non-Biblical, pagan way with the death of a man or man-god and the heathen abominations of drinking blood and eating flesh of their god. Rejected is the idea that atonement could be achieved even by giving flour. Mentioned, but over-ruled by the NT writers is the OT verse that “God loves Mercy more than sacrifices”. Negated is Jesus’s parable that one can be forgiven by merely turning back to the father, even without intending to ask for forgiveness.
There is no timeline in any of the prophets that requires a “supernatural messiah” to come before a fall of a second temple that none expected to fall. Jesus fails according to prophecies of those prophets, and if those prophets were indeed false prophets, that would make Jesus a false prophet as well and even a greater failure as a messiah.
Thanks for your response
My point was – that from a theological standpoint – there is nothing preventing you from believing that a statue is God – if it didn’t happen yet – there is nothing to tell us that it will not happen tomorrow. My point was that your THEOLOGICAL argument (about the trinity) could be used to justify worship of anything.
What you did – was you presented two different arguments. First you presented the argument that the resurrection proves that Jesus is who he claimed to be.Then you present a Scriptural argument about the timing of Messiah’s arrival –
I have responded to both of these – the first – In an article entitled The Exodus vs. The Resurrection (you may also want to see my article entitled The Resurrection – http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=369:resurrection&catid=72:scriptural-studies&Itemid=507
The second – in Contra Brown
If you feel I have erred in my reasoning – I would appreciate if you would articlulate where exactly my reasoning went wrong
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