Myth versus Reality

The Myth of “Post Temple Judaism”
Versus the Reality of Post Pauline Christianity
The Tannaitic and Amoraic periods of Jewish history parallel the first several centuries of the Common Era. The classical works of the Mishna, the Talmud, and most of the midrashim were formulated in this era. The authors saw it as their holy duty to preserve the spirit and the soul of Judaism for future generations. They saw no need to discuss Christianity with their readers. They were Jews, they lived and breathed Judaism, and their focus was on the faith of their ancestors.

During the same period, the founders of Christianity were doing their work. The Christian scriptures and the writings of the early Church Fathers were also formulated in the first several centuries of the Common Era. These people saw it as their holy duty to preserve the spirit and the soul of Christianity for future generations. But they did not stop there. They found the time and the patience to lecture to their audience about Judaism. The authors of the Christian scriptures and the early Church Fathers felt the need to share their prejudiced view of Judaism with the readers of their works.

Modern day missionaries take the lead of these early Christians, and spend a disproportionate amount of energy pontificating about Judaism. Instead of studying the questionable origins of their own belief system, they weave elaborate myths about the development of Judaism. They ignore the natural fault-line that existed in the early Church between Jew and gentile, and preach about dissension within the Jewish community where no such fault-line existed. They exaggerate the significance of a few schismatics in the Jewish community, while they dismiss the influence of people whose impact was widely felt in the early Christian community (2Corinthians 11:5, Galatians 1:6). The missionaries try to revive controversies that were put to rest at the grass-roots level, while dismissing controversies that were settled by the mouth of the sword. The missionaries spend more time discussing the fictitious “Post Temple Judaism”, then they do examining the reality of “Post Pauline Christianity”.

Putting the hypocrisy of the missionary aside, let us analyze the criticism directed against the origins of Judaism. What exactly are the missionary arguments? And how do these arguments stand up to a serious study?

The basic charge of the missionary is that Judaism was contrived after the scriptures were sealed. According to the missionary, modern Judaism is not an accurate representation of the Judaism espoused by the scriptural prophets. The missionary points to the various sects that existed in the Jewish community in Second Temple times. In the view of the missionary, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes were equally influential in the Second Temple community. The missionaries claim that it was the Pharisees who invented the Oral Law which was not accepted by the community at large. Only after the destruction of the Temple, did the disciples of the Pharisees forcibly impose their version of Judaism upon the nation.

This fanciful rendition of Jewish history falls apart when we examine the scriptures and other historical evidence. The scriptures testify that the Jewish people possessed a coherent and unified spiritual leadership in the early years of the Second Temple. Ezra, who was a recognized leader of the Babylonian Jewish community was granted the power to enforce and to promulgate the teachings of Judaism under the rule of the Persian kings (Ezra 7:25,26). Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah and Nehemiah worked together to establish the spiritual roots of the community in the Land of Israel (Ezra 5:1, Nehemiah 10:30). It is only under a unified leadership commanding widespread respect that the establishment of a new holiday could take root amongst the Jewish community that was scattered throughout the Persian Empire (Esther 9:27,28 – compare 2Chronicles 30:10).

Anyone who accepts the validity of the Jewish scriptures must accept that the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people in the beginning of the Second Temple era possessed the authentic understanding of the Law of Moses. The only question that can be asked is which of the later Second Temple communities are the true heirs of Ezra and Nehemiah? Was it the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or the Essenes? Only one of these groups could be the true inheritor of Ezra and Nehemiah while the other two groups must be schismatics, who broke off from the main body of the nation.

We have learned from the scriptures that in the early days of the Second Temple, the Jewish people possessed a unified spiritual leadership. This leadership was respected throughout the far reaches of the diaspora. This would only be possible if these scattered communities shared a common understanding of the Law. They must have possessed a strong network of coordinated leadership that held sway throughout the provinces of the Persian Empire and beyond.

The historical records of the later Second Temple era reveal that the Sadducee and the Essene communities were limited to the Land of Israel. There is no record of any Sadducee or Essene presence in Babylon or Rome, both of which possessed large Jewish communities. There is nothing to indicate that the Sadducees or Essenes possessed anything that resembled a network of leadership with international influence. The Pharisees on the other hand possessed a highly coordinated network of leadership that was respected throughout the entire Roman Empire and beyond.

The Pharisees relied on this network of leadership to apply their calendric decisions. The calendar of the Pharisees was based on monthly and yearly decisions of the central body of leadership. The respect that this body of leadership commanded enabled the international Jewish communities to celebrate the biblical holidays in unison. The respect commanded by the central Pharisaic body of leadership was not limited to the Jewish community. A large number of Pre-Nicean Christians also followed the calendric decisions of the spiritual leadership of the Pharisees. This phenomenon was so widespread in the Christian world that the Nicean council found it necessary to prohibit this practice.

There can be no question that the Pharisees were the true heirs of Ezra. The far-reaching extent of Pharisee influence can only be understood if we accept that the common root of all the scattered Jewish communities was Pharisaic. The Sadducees and the Essenes were obviously newcomers to the scene who only impacted the immediate area in which they originated.

A second missionary accusation that crumbles upon examination, is the myth of “Post Temple Judaism”. The missionaries claim that the Pharisaic leaders changed the foundations of Judaism after the destruction of the Second Temple. The missionary contends that the destruction of the Temple was such a blow to the Jewish belief system that a new theology had to be created.

This erroneous theory is put to rest when we take stock of the historical reality of the times. During the time of the Second Temple, the Jewish people were scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Especially significant was the community in Babylon whose population was comparable in size the community in the Land of Israel. The foundations of the Babylonian community were established with the destruction of the First Temple. That community flourished and thrived for five centuries without a Temple.

While the Second Temple was standing the two major Jewish communities stood side by side; the Israeli community and the Babylonian community. The Israeli community had a Temple, the Babylonian community did not. Yet throughout the Second Temple era these two communities smoothly cooperated with each other. The fact that one community had a Temple and the other did not, did not prevent them from seeing eye to eye on spiritual matters. The importance of the Temple notwithstanding, it does not affect the belief system of Judaism.

This concept should not come as a surprise to anyone who accepts the validity of the Jewish scriptural canon. The circumstance of Jewish community without a Temple occurred while the scriptural prophets were still active. The prophet Ezekiel was a member of the original Jewish community in Babylon. God commanded Ezekiel to encourage his brethren; “Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come” (Ezekiel 11:16).

Wherever the Jewish people find themselves, they are assured that God is their eternal sanctuary (Psalm 90:1). As devastating as the loss of the physical sanctuary was to the Jewish people, they are comforted with the fact that God’s presence never left them. With God as their eternal sanctuary, the Jewish people never saw a need to invent a new belief system.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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97 Responses to Myth versus Reality

  1. ChristianPaul says:

    Peace to you Rabbi!

    You said that my previous statement were ridiculous. Insulting someone in a debate only shows your weakness. On my part did I ever insulted you in our present exchange. No! If I did show me that I may repent and ask you forgiveness. That said let us look at your post here.

    1) Your lecture of history is not scholarly but only a view of yours. Your called the Pharisees as the bearer of the Second Temple Liturgy which is not accurate. Also your forgot the parties of the Zealots and other more extreme fringes of the Holy Land society. Obviously I do not believe your view which is influenced by your rabbinic bias.

    2)You mix all type of Christians and generalize their comportment and action has being unified. You forget the Orthodox Church and her theology and her inheritance of the divine liturgy on this earth.

    3) Still you do not understand the Second Temple purpose in the Jewish Religion for of course you have changed it and transform it to your view which is more post and reactionary to Christianity than you want to admit.

    4) According to the holy fathers your view of the new Jewish Religion is more anti-Christian than a community based of the Pure and Holy Torah.

    5) You debate pretty well with Protestant and may be Catholics but with Orthodox Christian you uses other tactics which is to denigrate them. You call me ridiculous, idolatrous and e.l. which could be an insult for you.

    6) I have come in peace and hope for the Truth and never you greeted the one who debate with you with any Abrahamic greetings.

    7) Last and not least I wish you all the best and pray always for you that you see the light not with Protestant eyes or the sectarian eye but the eyes of Moses who knew the Messiah well before you, hoping that one day you will accept the true Religion that can give you the grace from above.

    Conclusion what is your authority to teach? Where it comes from? Also what do you think of the Muslims? Do you think they are idolatrous?

    Many blessings! Hopefully in a spirit of dialogue and not denigration seeking always the Truth which will prevail in all!

    • Christian I never called you ridiculous – I called your view ridiculous and I substantiated that accusation To say that Judaism is “anti-Christian” is flatly ridiculous (again it is your statement that is ridiculous not you) – look – the Talmud is so much more lengthy than the Christian Scriptures – how many diatribes do you find in the Talmud against Christianity? – now contrast that with the anti-Jewish diatribes of the Christian Scriptures. You ask me – by what authority do I teach – none. I don’t expect anyone to take me on “authority” – I hope you judge my words for what truth content they have. My nation is authorized by God to testify on His behalf as stated in Isaiah – do you accept that? (I asked you this question before)

      • ChristianPaul says:

        Peace to you Rabbi!

        You dissociate my view from me which is not biblical. Ridiculous persons says ridiculous things from the heart comes all bad things. Also intelligent persons will say intelligent things from their discourses we judge the sages. Read the proverbs which you are familiar with and you will see if I am right on this. If not please show me! Thank you in advance!

        Actual Judaism is clearly anti-Christian! See all the prejudices you have against us:

        here are some of them:

        1) idolatrous
        2) false witness, liars
        3) false prophet
        4) uncircumcised
        5) persecutors

        1) idolatrous he can not be for we adore only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
        2) liars or false witness supposed that the Apostles lied and they do not fear God which is a judgment that only God can make knowing the hearts of everybody
        3) false prophet if they teach against God will which is an accusation that can be made of the religious leader of the time for having rejected who was willed by God
        4) that is a false claim for millions of Christians are circumcised for not all Christians are outside the seed of Israel
        5) persecutors confounding the Roman church with the Orthodox Church and supposing that the Saints and the religious powers are the perpetrators of those acts… It is like saying that a Jewish guy murdered a Christian guy and the Rabbis are responsible because they promote hatred, that will hold only if the religious authority are a power in itself and promoted the breaking of God commandments.

        Conclusion we must work to tear down the wall of prejudices and misunderstanding and denigration. For the impious ones are laughing at us. Hopefully men of God will work their differences and biases and construct on mutual respect and love for neighbor the civilization based on the worship of the One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

        Many blessings!

        • Christian If you call a man “the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob” and then you go worship him – you are idolatrous When did I call you false witness or a liar? Jesus was a false prophet according to Deuteronomy 13 – you have a problem with God not with me The only time I mentioned “uncircumcised” is when you claimed that the eastern Bishops are Levites Persecutors – you are – I am not talking about you personally – I am talking about the institution you adore – read some history

  2. Daniel says:

    Wow. Excellent article. Todah Rabbah!

  3. ag says:

    ניט סברל דעקיידז נאר סברל סענטוריז. כ”ט. חזק!
    [תוכל למחוק את זה]

  4. 10th man says:

    “Instead of studying the questionable origins of their own belief system,” ……”Putting the hypocrisy of the missionary aside”
    —(no offense, but isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black?)—

    “Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah and Nehemiah worked together to establish the spiritual roots of the community in the Land of Israel”
    —(you said this, not me. I agree wholeheartedly)—

    “This fanciful rendition of Jewish history falls apart when we examine the scriptures and other historical evidence”
    —(eagerly awaiting the evidence)—

    “Anyone who accepts the validity of the Jewish scriptures must accept that the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people in the beginning of the Second Temple era possessed the authentic understanding of the Law of Moses”
    —(Again, you said this, not me, but are you able to prove “the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people in the beginning of the Second Temple era possessed the authentic understanding of the Law of Moses.”?)—

    “Only one of these groups could be the true inheritor of Ezra and Nehemiah while the other two groups must be schismatics, who broke off from the main body of the nation.”
    —(says who? Often when groups split you end up with two groups both containing partial truths. Unless the group being split from had grown powerful and corrupt, then the second group is a restoration group returning to the original truth)—

    “They must have possessed a strong network of coordinated leadership that held sway throughout the provinces of the Persian Empire….”
    —(isn’t this kinda backwards? In the early days of the second Temple period wasn’t it the intellectual rabbis through out the provinces of the Persian Empire who held sway over the rest, even Jerusalem?)—

    “The foundations of the Babylonian community were established with the destruction of the First Temple.”
    —( did it ever occur to you that the Babylonian community was established by those exiled by HaShem to Babylon for being corrupt? Although there was surely a righteous remnant among them, how do we know who took control of the reins of Judaism?)—

    “The Israeli community had a Temple, the Babylonian community did not.”
    —(not quite true, they had the same Temple. The Babylon community was expected to make an appearance at the Temple in Israel three times a year)—

    “This concept should not come as a surprise to anyone who accepts the validity of the Jewish scriptural canon.”
    —(I’m a little surprised. All you’ve really said is the Second Temple exiles relied on the foundation built by the exiles of the First Temple. From Ezra and Nehemiah to Moses, you have to travel through a lot of messed up stuff. All you’ve given evidence for is the Pharisees began to come into power out of the first exile, struggled to retain their power during the second Temple period and after dust cleared from the destruction of the second Temple, it was the Pharisees and Christians who were left standing)—

    “Wherever the Jewish people find themselves, they are assured that God is their eternal sanctuary”
    —(sounds like something Y’shua would say)—

    “As devastating as the loss of the physical sanctuary was to the Jewish people, they are comforted with the fact that God’s presence never left them.”
    —(God’s presence left the Temple, and in-dwelt people – this is getting to sound an awful lot like what the Greek Scriptures teach)—

    “With God as their eternal sanctuary, the Jewish people never saw a need to invent a new belief system.”
    —(it was already invented at the time of the first exile. A Jewish rabbi named Sha’ul capitalized on this concept using life and death of Y’shua – and this was even before the second Temple destruction)—

    • 10th man Find my responses below

      > “Instead of studying the questionable origins of their own belief > system,” ……”Putting the hypocrisy of the missionary aside” > > —(no offense, but isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black?)— > > No offense taken – it is easy to throw around proverbs it is harder to > bring evidence > > > > “Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah and Nehemiah worked together to establish the > spiritual roots of the community in the Land of Israel” > > —(you said this, not me. I agree wholeheartedly)— > > Scripture says it – I would guess that you don’t understand it > > > > “This fanciful rendition of Jewish history falls apart when we examine > the scriptures and other historical evidence” > > —(eagerly awaiting the evidence)— > > > > “Anyone who accepts the validity of the Jewish scriptures must accept > that the spiritual leadership of the Jewish people in the beginning of > the Second Temple era possessed the authentic understanding of the Law > of Moses” > > —(Again, you said this, not me, but are you able to prove “the > spiritual leadership of the Jewish people in the beginning of the > Second Temple era possessed the authentic understanding of the Law of > Moses.”?)— > > If you accept the canon of Scripture you then accept that Ezra was an > authentic leader – if Ezra was not an authentic leader – please throw > out the canon > > > > “Only one of these groups could be the true inheritor of Ezra and > Nehemiah while the other two groups must be schismatics, who broke off > from the main body of the nation.” > > —(says who? Often when groups split you end up with two groups both > containing partial truths. Unless the group being split from had grown > powerful and corrupt, then the second group is a restoration group > returning to the original truth)— > > Says each of the groups > > > > “They must have possessed a strong network of coordinated leadership > that held sway throughout the provinces of the Persian Empire….” > > —(isn’t this kinda backwards? In the early days of the second Temple > period wasn’t it the intellectual rabbis through out the provinces of > the Persian Empire who held sway over the rest, even Jerusalem?)— > > Evidence? > > > > “The foundations of the Babylonian community were established with the > destruction of the First Temple.” > > —( did it ever occur to you that the Babylonian community was > established by those exiled by HaShem to Babylon for being corrupt? > Although there was surely a righteous remnant among them, how do we > know who took control of the reins of Judaism?)— > > Did you ever read Jeremiah 24? > > “The Israeli community had a Temple, the Babylonian community did not.” > > —(not quite true, they had the same Temple. The Babylon community > was expected to make an appearance at the Temple in Israel three times > a year)— > > No they didn’t, the obligation only applies to those living in the > land – in any case they certainly didn’t have a Temple for day to day > worship > > > > “This concept should not come as a surprise to anyone who accepts the > validity of the Jewish scriptural canon.” > > —(I’m a little surprised. All you’ve really said is the Second > Temple exiles relied on the foundation built by the exiles of the > First Temple. From Ezra and Nehemiah to Moses, you have to travel > through a lot of messed up stuff. All you’ve given evidence for is the > Pharisees began to come into power out of the first exile, struggled > to retain their power during the second Temple period and after dust > cleared from the destruction of the second Temple, it was the > Pharisees and Christians who were left standing)— > > If you don’t like Ezra, throw out the canon. And the Christians did > not survive as Jewish group – the curse of Ezekiel 13:9 was fully > fulfilled against them > > > > “Wherever the Jewish people find themselves, they are assured that God > is their eternal sanctuary” > > —(sounds like something Y’shua would say)— > > I guess you never read Ezekiel 11:16 or Matthew 23 > > > > “As devastating as the loss of the physical sanctuary was to the > Jewish people, they are comforted with the fact that God’s presence > never left them.” > > —(God’s presence left the Temple, and in-dwelt people – this is > getting to sound an awful lot like what the Greek Scriptures teach)— > > See above > > > > “With God as their eternal sanctuary, the Jewish people never saw a > need to invent a new belief system.” > > —(it was already invented at the time of the first exile. A Jewish > rabbi named Sha’ul capitalized on this concept using life and death of > Y’shua – and this was even before the second Temple destruction)— > > You refuted yourself already, thanks >

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • ag says:

        מאליה מ־ קספו
        לך. אע״ג לגלי אין אליתו קריבה
        רוב פסחיהס היה טלה או שמא הגיל
        לו ורבי יהולה בן בתירא שלא עלה
        לרגל ח<י״ל שלא היה לו קרקע או זקן
        היה שאינו יכול להלך ברגליו לפטור
        מפסח כמו מראיה א״נ נציבין חו״ל
        היא כלמוכח בסיפרי בפ׳ ראה ועול
        בתרגום ירושלמי (בראשית י< וארך
        ואכל וכלנה בארץ שנער מתרגם
        והלס ונציבין וקטיספי:

      • 10th man says:

        yourphariseefriend,
        “In the early days of the second Temple > period wasn’t it the intellectual rabbis through out the provinces of > the Persian Empire who held sway over the rest, even Jerusalem?)— > > Evidence? ”

        —(I would think the weight of the Babylonian Talmud versus the Jerusalem Talmud accurately conveys who was calling the shots)—

        Jeremiah 24, yes I’ve read it and it is a good answer to a point, I think you are reading more into it than is there. To me HaShem is saying it will be the exiles He will look after rather than those who stayed – the opposite of what one might assume. Ezekiel 11:16 says much the same.

        Matthew 23??? Context, Context, Context.

        “You refuted yourself already, thanks >”

        —(I don’t feel refuted. Sha’ul just did the same thing the first exiles did, just a different variant in the light of Y’shua on the same theme – in other words there was precedent for replacing the Temple with the People of God. But you assert the People of God is decided by rabbinic authority and HaShem has no say in the matter.)—

        yourphariseefriend,
        Allow me to get to the point. Much you say is true, but you’ve only been able to trace “Pharisees” back to the Babylonian exile, that is hardly the same as all the way to Moses. Additionally you take the view that HaShem’s promised care, love and protection for the Jewish people assumes the Pharisees were always righteous and never wavered. I’m not sure how you get this from that?

        Moshe and Y’shua were both good guys with excellent teachings, but I think both are severely disappointed with what has been done in their names using a interpretated form of their teachings.

        • 10th man
          How much of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds have you read and understood?
          I never said that the people of God are decided by the rabbis and that Hashem has no say in the matter – it is Hashem who decided to preserve one version of Judaism and it is YOU who is ignoring Hashem’s verdict
          And I never said that the Pharisees are always righteous – I did say that even a secular historian can see that they trace their origins back to Ezra – and for someone who believes in the Scriptural canon – that is more than enough

          • 10th man says:

            “How much of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds have you read and understood?”
            —)not much, but have dealt with them enough to stand my my original statement, which I can’t help but notice wasn’t answered(—

            “I never said that the people of God are decided by the rabbis and that Hashem has no say in the matter”
            —) you don’t say it straight out, but it is true – it is rabbinic ruling which declares a person a Jew or not, i.e. ‘God’s people or not’ (—

            “it is Hashem who decided to preserve one version of Judaism and it is YOU who is ignoring Hashem’s verdict”
            —) really? I see a number of preserved versions of Judaism (including Christianity) – the difference between us is you believe yours is the only right way, whereas I see HaShem looking past what religion a person is and into their hearts – those are the real people of God -many of whom you reject. Who’s ignoring HaShem’s verdict? (—

            “And I never said that the Pharisees are always righteous”
            —) you certainly imply they are the righteous remnant (—

            “I did say that even a secular historian can see that they trace their origins back to Ezra”
            —) I’ve never disagreed with this point – but what does that mean they can trace their origins back to Ezra? A lot of things can be traced back a long ways, it does impute a level of credibility, but doesn’t automatically put HaShem’s stamp of approval on it or what it has become. (—

            “and for someone who believes in the Scriptural canon – that is more than enough”
            —) tracing to Moshe would be “more than enough ” since you claim Mosiac authority. If you only claimed Ezraian authority we would have little to discuss.(—

            On a side note; you might find it interesting, I know I do (but I don’t draw any firm conclusions), Y’shua quoted from all books of Torah, many of the Prophets and Writings, but never once quoted from Ezra/Nehemiah or Ezekiel

          • 10th man “dealt with them enough” can you please elaborate? you have already misquoted them on this blog so you have demonstrated that you are incapable of reading them in the original and checking your sources. Have you “dealt with them” through the same sources that gave you your fabricated quotation? You may not realize this – but if you get your facts wrong and don’t seem to care about it – your opinions will carry little weight with anyone aside from yourself.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • 10th man says:

            yourphariseefriend,
            You sure sidestepped a lot of material and manged to still evade the question of the Babylonian Talmud caring more weight than the Jerusalem Talmud.

            Compared to you, I have very little exposure to the Talmud, but what I am saying, I learned from religious Jews (who reject Y’shua) using Jewish sources.

            If I’m wrong, just say so. Put in print that the rabbis in Babylon were not predominant at the beginning of the Second Temple period.

          • 10th man The Babylonian Talmud carrying more influence has nothing to do with what you said. Your ignorance should inspire a bit of humility not arrogance and audacity

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    You have a very negative tendency to just latch on to aspects of people’s works that you like to hear 10th man.

    Again, you are only asserting rabbinic corruption. You assert that they put system above relationship, but you offer no evidence at all. Its very sad.

    • 10th man says:

      “You have a very negative tendency to just latch on to aspects of people’s works that you like to hear 10th man.”
      —(actually I latch on to aspects that I don’t like to hear. The best place to hide a lie is between two truths. Is it wrong to eat the good and spit out the bad?)—

      “Again, you are only asserting rabbinic corruption. You assert that they put system above relationship,…”
      —(I don’t deny rabbinic corruption, but that’s is not what I’m asserting. What is being asserted is these articles repeatedly point to the corruption of Christianity (unfairly lumping Y’shua into the mix) and then don’t hold their own religion to the same standards by which they’ve judged Christianity – talk about sad)—

      “…….but you offer no evidence at all. Its very sad.”
      —(I have no intentions of getting very deep into rabbinic corruptions because I’m merely pointing out the double standard being used, but since you asked, here is a tidbit; Shabbos candles, the prayer says Hashem told us to do this. Where? Did Hashem really say to do this or is it a rabbinic lie?)—

      “God did NOT command us to light candles on the Sabbath…The rabbis commanded us to light candles on the Sabbath…Why are they lying ? For the same reason the Roman Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. It is a symbol of their authority over men…Men following the teachings of men, not God.”
      Jerusalem Post 7/16/15

      • Jim says:

        10th man,

        I am sorry that you missed my question to you on another comment thread. Please tell us if you are or are not the same person as the one that commented under the name “CP” on this site.

        Jim

        • 10th man says:

          Jim,
          I’m sorry you’ve been pulled into this.
          I’ve addressed this with the two ladies on the other comment thread and have respectfully declined further communication with them. Their recent comments only serve to confirm the wisdom of that decision. Although they appear to be having great fun, that kind of stuff just isn’t my thing. Far be it from me to rob them of such joy.

          • RT says:

            OK CP… Oups… By the way, I don’t know if you talked about me, but I am not a lady 🙂

          • Jim says:

            10th man,

            Nevertheless, please tell us. Are you or are you not the same person that used to post comments here under the name “CP.” Thank you.

            Jim

          • Dina says:

            Jim, as is CP/10th’s wont, he is lying again. He did not address this with “two ladies” on another thread (RT, I guess you’re in good company). He evaded the question and countered with a disgusting and false accusation against the good rabbi of sharing his personal information with me. He countered with sexist and anti-Semitic remarks (female chutzpah, Jewish rudeness). He has not apologized to Rabbi B. for his false accusation, nor to women and Jews for his disparaging words against both groups.

            And he has still refused to answer the most simple and straightforward of questions.

            If he is innocent of all charges, why not answer the question as straightforwardly as it was asked?

            Ah, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

  6. Concerned Reader says:

    10th man, you are against sabbath candles? Candles? Really?

    Yeshua uses metaphors of light, oil, wick, etc. In several parables relating (at least partially) to Shabbat. Is that an addition?

    Did the Menorah in the temple burn with oil on the Shabbat?

    • 10th man says:

      Concerned Reader,
      Perhaps you accidentally read something into my comment that wasn’t there. Please look again, where did I say I was against Sabbath candles?

      I’m against dishonest religious manipulation. If the rabbis want to start a tradition of lighting candles on Shabbos, it’s fine by me, in fact I like it. But be honest about it and don’t ask me to say a prayer saying HaShem commanded it when it was really the rabbis. Is that too much to ask?

      • RT says:

        Well, if you are strictly reading the Torah CP, you should know that anybody who lights a fire on Shabbath must die by stone! If G-d did not command it, then it is a serious problem! “Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.'” Exodus 35:3

        Two possibilities:

        – A rabbi said one day “let’s start a new tradition and break the Torah”. Then all Israel said “Good idea, let’s disobey G-d!”

        – Moses instructed the people in the time of the Exodus that lighting the candles was fine and was not part of G-d’s restriction of kindling a fire.

        Which one you choose CP?

        • 10th man says:

          RT,
          First off, Shabbos candles should be lit as the Sabbath starts at sundown, not after.

          But allow me to respond to what you have written;

          It probably did not happen either way. The more likely scenario; in the absence of the Temple this ritual was instituted by rabbis because worship/ritual observance had shifted from the Temple to the synagogue and home. Since many activities forbidden on Sabbath were not forbidden in the Temple on Sabbath it is easy to see how this was rationalized by the rabbis.

          • 10th man The Sabbath candles can be traced back much further than “1000” years after Jesus – so get your facts straight. Second – are you trying to say two wrongs make a right? – if the rabbis can add so can Jesus? The rabbis are operating in a system that recognizes the right of the community to choose how they want to follow God’s commandment to sanctify the Sabbath – but you are arguing for Sola Scriptura try again

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • 10th man btw – Sabbath candles were there while the Second Temple was still standing – all the evidence points to th

          • 10th man says:

            “10th man The Sabbath candles can be traced back much further than “1000” years after Jesus – so get your facts straight.”

            —) yourphariseefriend,
            you must have accidentally misread; I didn’t say the Sabbath candles, but the “prayer” can’t be traced back more than about a thousand years after Y’shua.(—

            “Second – are you trying to say two wrongs make a right? – if the rabbis can add so can Jesus?”

            —)no, I’m saying what Torah teaches; ‘judge fairly’. You judge Y’shua’s teaching on divorce one way and judge the rabbinic teaching on the Sabbath candle prayers another (—

            “The rabbis are operating in a system that recognizes the right of the community to choose how they want to follow God’s commandment to sanctify the Sabbath”

            —) what happens to the people who don’t do what they are told to do by the rabbis? (—

          • 10th man We judge Jesus’ teaching on divorce by the standards that Jesus’ followers (including yourself) want to impose on us and I judge the rabbi’s teachings on the standards they hold to. And if someone refuses to listen to the rabbis we tell him to find his/her community that follows Torah as a community

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • 10th man says:

            “10th man We judge Jesus’ teaching on divorce by the standards that Jesus’ followers …want to impose on us”

            —) yourphariseefriend,
            That is a mistake. Would it be fair to judge you or your teachings by the actions of those who follow you here? (—

            Btw, I removed “and yourself” from your quote, because I really don’t think I’m trying to impose anything on you other than real honest discussion.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        10th man, I know what you are saying. My point is, its not dishonest manipulation in the sense that you seem to (maybe I’m wrong) be imputing?

        Sabbath candles seems to me an extension, a remembrance of a few things. Its a reminder of G-d’s sovereignty, of the commandments (IE light,) and of the Menorah/temple service.

        If G-d gives a command to remember his sovereignty, or to remember the temple service, and to keep it fresh in the mind in exile, aren’t rituals like this fulfilling that command?

        Look at the ritual washing of the hands. That was originally a purity standard/stringency for the priests, and it was extended to the whole people for solidarity, and so priests would not forget. So, it too says blessed is the lord who commanded….Is that malicious? I dont think so.

        Do you find communion to be malicious?

        • 10th man says:

          “Do you find communion to be malicious?”
          —(the difference is there is passage in the Greek Text literally pointing to communion. I do agree the “Church” has made it into something different than Y’shua probably intended.

          Again I must reiterate: I’m playing no favorites between Judaism and Christianity and do my best to judge both by the same standard. That said, my real pet peeve is any “system” of worship that robs its members of the freedom to pursue and struggle with a personal relationship with Hashem. And while I’m on pet peeves; the condemnation of Y’shua based on cherry picked Christian doctrine is really dishonest, yet no one seems to care, they just keep repeating it over and over (not you – most of the time, lol))—

          • Concerned Reader says:

            But, you are judging rabbinic Judaism by Cherry Picking aspects just the same as you accuse them of doing.

            There may be a passage in the NT about communion, but its an entirely new thing. Its a hotherto unknown ritual to the Torah. Not only that, but throughout Church hostory in all sects, taking communion is regarded as essential, because it is the covenant in his blood.

            You cant put a rabbinic sratement about shabbos candles or the washing of the hands on the same level as Christian innovation in terms of additions.

            My pet peeve is that you want us to consider Yeshua (as if I haven’t already) while divorcing him from the only discernible community that portrays him to the world.

            You dont do that with rabbimic Judaism. You haven’t let Jews tell you what they believe about their own relationship with their own teachers. It seems like you dont see a give and take dynamic.

            You mention the rabbinic system as the problem. Part of that system is the rapport between rabbis and their students.

            Take the issue of conversion. If you find a community where you fit, and are known well, people will go to bat for you.

            I have hardly cherry picked Church doctrine.

            You have likened what the rabbis do to what Catholics have done with tradition, except that rabbis dont claim to be prophets verified by a holy spirit, or infalible, the way the Church claims for itself.

            When the Church claims all that, they point directly to actual verses where Jesus tells his students that he will be with them. Even you said that you can only “get it” with the holy spirit.

            What I see when I read your criticism of rabbinic Judaism is a degree of projection. It sounds like “why should I believe rabbinic authority when its just like what Catholucs do?”

            The thing is, the two authority structures and systems are different in terms of the actual dynamics of authority, and it seems you dont want to believe that.

  7. Concerned Reader says:

    Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

    Like Johnny said, “the virgins are all trimming their wicks, and the whirlwind is in the thorne tree. Its hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Till armaggedon no Salam, no Shalom.

    Then the father hen will call his chickens home. The wise man will bow down before the throne And at his feet they’ll cast their golden crowns. When the man comes around.

    Even early Christians (and Christians today) understood the point of welcoming rhe groom, which is just like welcoming in the Shabbat.

    (That symbolism of wick, lamp, etc. is there for a reason.

    the virgins with their lamps (their knowledge of G-d, holy, and clothed with good deeds getting ready to greet the king/bridegroom.

    Shabbat is the sign of G-d’s sovreignty, as well as a sign of rest, and also as a sign of completion.

    Do you think Jesus didnt ever come across candles or lamps on the sabbath and concepts assiciated with it?

    • 10th man says:

      The Sabbath Candle Prayer can be traced no further than to about a thousand years after Y’shua. But that’s not the point. People here jump all over Y’shua for his teaching on divorce and totally dismiss such an obvious addition to Torah, (and deceptive – at least Y’shua used Torah to back his teaching). The point is; judge fairly whether it is Christianity or Judaism. Does not Torah demand as much?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I don’t fault Jesus’ teaching on Divorce because of the ideal of the teaching itself, (to enhance the idea of marital sanctity,) or because he used the example of Adam and Eve to back it, but because he conflated divorce with something that the Torah considers a capital crime, namely, adultery.

        Divorce is not a capital crime in Torah.

        If the rabbis told me “failing to light sabbath candles is like killing a baby,” I would have the same problem with them telling me that, as I do with Jesus’ equating of Divorce with adultery.

        I realize that Christians allow divorce too in their manuals of discipline, but the point is, for much of Christian history, the Church actually tried to fulfill the strictures of Jesus’ interpretation of this law that he enhanced quite literally,and it had a demonstrably negative impact.

        If you read my posts here, I’m not the type to accuse Jesus of violations unless I feel there are legitimate grounds for it.

        • RT says:

          I really do think that 10th man owns us an answer before we all forget that he might be CP. Should be allow 10th to continue is posting without addressing the founded accusation brought upon him. CP was banned from this blog, and any HONEST person would answer the question at once. We should not allow 10th man to post again until he answer that simple question. Are you, or are you not CP? G-d is looking by the way… and baby Jesus is sleeping 😉

        • 10th man says:

          Concerned Reader,
          I don’t think for one minute Y’shua was attempting to change the legal code. He was not teaching a divorced woman and the man she married should be stoned for adultery. As a matter of fact there is a story in John which teaches the opposite (I’m aware it’s a variant). Y’shua wasn’t attempting to change the Law but teaching on the sanctity of marriage and the moral aspects of divorce. Now if Y’shua was teaching divorce and remarriage was an unforgivable sin / capital crime worth of death, then you’d have a valid point.
          Y’shua was teaching people Hashem’s heart for them not making new Laws.

      • LarryB says:

        10th man
        You make a claim, wasn’t it sweet pea, I forget, that refuted it with did divorce and that’s what you calling jumping all over Jesus?

  8. Concerned Reader says:

    10th Man. Why do you rush to assign nefarious motives to the rabbis?

    Why is the Bavli more prominent? Simple.

    Because the diaspora communities were far larger then in the holy land, and so a majority of cases would have been discussed and decided in the context that would be most relevant to most Jews. Why do you need to read a power trip into it?

    The Yerushalmi doesnt have a different standard or methods for deriving Halacha, so what are you getting at?

    As ive explained, you are bothered by something that is a structural reality in every faith community that claims to represent the Bible.

    The Bible is the book that sets up the system where the upstanding members of society get designated as judges to decide court cases, from groups of 3 on up.

    The Church, the Synagogue, the Samaritans, etc. ALL rely on this.

    • Concerned Reader The Bavli is more prominent simply because the Yerushalmi is an unfinished product – the Christian persecutions forced the rabbis from the land of Israel to relocate to Babylon where they continued their work in the Babylonian Yeshivas

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • 10th man says:

        “…..The Bavli is more prominent simply because the Yerushalmi is an unfinished product”

        —) this agreement was a long time coming (—

        ” the Christian persecutions forced the rabbis from the land of Israel to relocate to Babylon where they continued their work in the Babylonian Yeshivas”

        —) but then managed to blame the Christians. The Bavli was more prominent before Christians even existed (—

        • Dina says:

          Rabbi B.,

          Correct me if I’m wrong.

          CP writes that “the Bavli was more prominent before Christians even existed.” To the best of my knowledge, both Talmuds were compiled in the fifth and sixth centuries, when Christianity had already been growing strong.

          So this historically factually incorrect.

          In fact, a quick Internet search showed me that, indeed, Christian persecution had forced the sages of the Talmud to flee to Babylon.

          • 10th man says:

            “both Talmuds were compiled in the fifth and sixth centuries,”

            ))”COMPILED”((

          • 10th man You claim you want “honest” dialogue. Your first comment on this blog (if you are not cp) was a quote from missionary sources – which fabricate a quote from the Talmud. You claim that you have nothing to do with “structured” Christianity, yet you believe structured Christianity when it bashes Judaism without hesitation. – so how could I come to a different conclusion other than – you have no interest in honesty

            “Dialogue” -which is the second thing you claim you want means interaction with other people – meeting facts with facts, not throwing ignorance and opinions when presented with facts.

            You acknowledged that you haven’t read the Bavli or the Yerushalmi – so on what basis are you disputing my explanation about why the Bavli is accepted in halacha?

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • 10th man says:

            yourphariseefriend,
            One formal fallacy, followed with two ad hominem remarks, concluding with a red herring?

            Are you aware followers tend to follow the example of their leader?

            Is this why Y’shua said to listen to the rabbis teachings from Moses, but not to follow their example?

            Rabbi Y’shua says;

          • 10th man
            Can you explain yourself? Why do you trust the missionaries when they quote the Talmud? On what basis are you disputing what I said about the predominance of Bavi over Yerushalmi?

          • 10th man says:

            “Can you explain yourself?….”

            ))yourphariseefriend, I’ll do my best.
            You asked; “Why do you trust the missionaries when they quote the Talmud?”
            The truth is I don’t automatically trust missionaries or mistrust them when they quote anything. I believe the Tanach and Y’shua teach us to trust no man but rather to love our fellow man.

            In the interest of brotherly love and putting your concerns to rest, I’ll happily address from my point of view our past interaction on this specific matter. What was protrayed as two Talmudic quotes, I admitted turned out to be one Talmudic quote and the other from a commentary on the Talmud. To me this made little difference because I didn’t view religious sources as taking preeminence over what historically happened – if you remember I conveyed this at the time? Divulging the fact the later was from a latin commentary on the Talmud would only cause people with bias to focus on religious sources rather than historical reality, therefore I continued to pursue historical reality. The reality is the Sanhedrin lost their power after the execution of Y’shua. This doesn’t necessarily prove the meaning of the Christian drash, but it makes it a valid Christian midrash nonetheless – which was my point all along.

            “On what basis are you disputing what I said about the predominance of Bavi over Yerushalmi?”

            For starters there are your own words to Concerned Reader:
            “The Bavli is more prominent simply because the Yerushalmi is an unfinished product…”

            But the reason I know this is because this is what I was taught in Synagogue. I believed it because the Tanach, historical sources and the Talmud appear to support the prominence of the Babylonian rabbis at the beginning of the Second Temple period. If you wish to enlighten me otherwise, I’ll listen.

            A side note on the Babylonian prominence vein; (to me) this explains why we have months named after Babylon deities when Torah teaches the names of foreign gods should not even be found on our lips.

          • 10th man
            A “commentary on the Talmud” implies an accepted authority within the realm of Talmudic scholarship – the quote that you brought here is a well-known fabrication by the enemies of God’s chosen people – it is NOT from a commentary on the Talmud

            And what does my comment on the Yerushalmi being an “unfinished product” have to do with your assertion that the Babylonian rabbis threw their weight around to get “their Talmud” its position of prominence?

          • 10th man says:

            “10th man
            A “commentary on the Talmud” implies an accepted authority within the realm of Talmudic scholarship – the quote that you brought here is a well-known fabrication by the enemies of God’s chosen people – it is NOT from a commentary on the Talmud”

            ))yourphariseefriend,
            forgive my poor communication skills, I made the assumption you knew I was not a Talmudic Scholar. To me a commentary is a commentary, whereas to you it apparently applies only to a specific set of commentaries.((

            “And what does my comment on the Yerushalmi being an “unfinished product” have to do with your assertion that the Babylonian rabbis threw their weight around to get “their Talmud” its position of prominence?”

            )) I gave you my view, a view acquired from Jews qualified to teach by the rabbis. Did you happen to miss this sentence in the comment you are responding to?
            “If you wish to enlighten me otherwise, I’ll listen.”((

          • 10th man
            Do you honestly not know the difference between a commentary and a fabrication?

            Would you consider Jim’s critique of Matthew a “commentary” on Matthew? – https://judaismresources.net/2017/01/18/matthew-admits-that-jesus-was-never-resurrected-by-jim-2/

    • 10th man says:

      “10th Man. Why do you rush to assign nefarious motives to the rabbis?”

      —) Concerned Reader, where have I assigned “nefarious motives” to the rabbis? I don’t know their motives, all I know is the current system is much different than the original, therefore that makes the teachings of Y’shua at least an equal player. (—

      “As ive explained, you are bothered by something that is a structural reality in every faith community that claims to represent the Bible.” …. “The Church, the Synagogue, the Samaritans, etc. ALL rely on this”

      —) And I’ve made it no secret. But there is a group of Y’shua disciples who have transcended such systems and operate on purely on a basis of relationship to Hashem. When we meet one another we need no rabbinic ruling or church doctrine to know we are brothers and sisters. (—

      • RT says:

        10th. you have all the rights in the world to have a bad opinion of Rabbis, Judaism and whoever you want. But why do you go to a Jewish website and try to convince them of your point of view? The truth is, everybody has the right to believe whatever they want. I should not go to a Muslim website and tell them how awful is their religion, nor should denigrate atheist, and you should not do that either on this website. You cross the limit, you should not go here to try to convince people that you are right and judge a whole religion based on your own interpretation of what they believe. Anybody that has doubt about Judaism is free to ask question to Jews for Jesus/Chosen People Ministries. And Christians who have doubt should use this website to answer their questions. I think the world would be a better place if we could all understand that we have different opinions and that we should not force our own on others. I know a bunch of Christians who are the loveliest people and I appreciate that they are not trying to force their views on me, on the other hand I know too many brothers and sisters who are willing to call anybody that don’t agree with them heretics. I know a bunch who would want to force prayers in the name of Jesus in school and punish/vilify any gay or lesbian around. The fact that you don’t agree with others does not give you any right to force your point of view. Maybe you will learn that your action does not bring anybody closer to Jesus. Trust me, if Jesus is real, he would be ashamed of such behavior against other humans!

        • 10th man says:

          “But why do you go to a Jewish website and try to convince them of your point of view?”

          —) RT,
          this is a Jewish website? From all appearances I thought it an anti-Christian, anti-Y’shua website (—

          ” I should not go to a Muslim website and tell them how awful is their religion, nor should denigrate atheist, and you should not do that either on this website.”

          —) Trust me when I say if I wanted to denigrate Judaism there is a lot more available than what I’m using. I’m only addressing those things this website does to others, I just point out there is a double standard being employed. Notice I’ve avoided the word “hypocrisy” where those here don’t spare the word when discussing Christianity? – just thought I’d point that out 😉.

          • RT says:

            “Trust me when I say if I wanted to denigrate Judaism there is a lot more available than what I’m using.”

            An anti-Semite with a Kippah, trying to pretend you love the Jews and in the same time, hate everything that they are. You are actually an hypocrite, and actually think that you are following “real” Judaism? If this website would belong to me, I would Kick out all your nick-names until you would get tire! YOU ARE one of the reasons why JEWS don’t convert to Christianity! (Not the only one, because there is no biblical reason to do so either) You are not the only Jew who convert to Christianity and start to persecute his own people! The though of you makes me Grinch!

          • Dina says:

            RT, do you remember that awful anti-Semitic video CP posted (back when he was CP)? It made my blood run cold.

            My daughter happened to walk by when it was playing and she turned white.

          • RT says:

            I really watch videos, because I am at work when on this blog.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        How can you substantiate that claim 10th man? None of you Christians I have ever met have transcended these isdues, beyond claiming that they have wothout offering evidence.

  9. Concerned Reader says:

    “the current system is much different than the original, therefore that makes the teachings of Y’shua at least an equal player.”

    Hardly.

    You only make this determination after creating your own personal historical “corrected” reconstruction of Jesus.

    If anyone points out to you that its silly to focus on your reconstruction as being true, you accuse them of bias. To believe in your reconstruction is to ignore the majority of history.

    This blog does not exist to try and reconstruct a hypothetical Yeshua, and to latch onto him or to evaluate hypotheticals.

    The stated goal of the blog is to prevent the organized effort to convert Jews to Christianity, undertaken by mainstream Churches.

    A hypothetical group of Jesus believers who somehow “know” that they dont need rabbis to follow G-d is irrelevant to the reason for this blog’s existence.

    Perhaps if Christians could be content with leaving Jews alone to follow their Torah, the Jewish people would be able to show greater apreciation for the good their Christian neighbors do.

    However, as long as Christians try to peddle a divine human to Jews as a kosher idea (which is against Torah,) that cant happen. Its truly simple.

    If you actually worship with religious Jews, you should know that they dont blindly follow this “system” you talk about.

    • 10th man says:

      “You only make this determination after creating your own personal historical “corrected” reconstruction of Jesus.”

      —) Concerned Reader,
      you’ve indicated you are an academic in the field of world religions. Therefore you above all people know it is only good scholarly practice to read ancient religious texts in their historical, cultural and religious context. You appear to ignore this best scholarly practice in favor of viewing Y’shua through the lens of those who are a century to two millennia, a culture and a religion removed from Y’shua, then proceed to judge Y’shua and tell me I’m the one creating a personal reconstruction of Y’shua. (—

      “The stated goal of the blog is to prevent the organized effort to convert Jews to Christianity, undertaken by mainstream Churches.”

      —) stated or not, it is hardly believable. It is doubtful the number of Orthodox Jews who have converted to Christianity would warrant such an effort. (—

      “However, as long as Christians try to peddle a divine human to Jews as a kosher idea (which is against Torah,) that cant happen. Its truly simple.”

      —) Evidence should be supplied for such a bold claim (—

      “If you actually worship with religious Jews, you should know that they dont blindly follow this “system” you talk about.”

      —) ??? My Judaism paraprofessional educator told me straight up; “it doesn’t matter, this is what the Rabbi says, I just believe what the Rabbi says and that’s it.”

      “How can you substantiate that claim 10th man? None of you Christians I have ever met have transcended these isdues, beyond claiming that they have wothout offering evidence.”

      —) How would you like me to substantiate the claim there exists a group of Y’shua disciples in this world without buildings, signs, denominations, websites and an organized man made system? What would you have me point to? (—

  10. Concerned Reader says:

    10th man, do you even consider the irony in the fact that your accusations (according to you) are levelled against the “rabbinic system,” and yet when we tell you to examine individuals, you apply to them a type of blind obedience to that system.

    When we point out that the blog exists to challenge traditional Christian systematic theology and conversion efforts of Jews, you are mad that we dont evaluate your individual Jesus reconstruction.

  11. Concerned Reader says:

    Do you see the hypicricy there? You dont trust an individual Jewish person’s ability to question “the system,” even though Jews do question it all the time.

    You say we lump Yeshua with Christianity, but you lump Jews into a hypothetical rabbinic systemic monopoly

    • RT says:

      Interesting CR, I found that Christians are often asked not to doubt or question the system. I found many more Jews questioning and Rabbis and are often more willing to questions their own world view. I might be wrong, but that’s what I found.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        I know RT. I think Its the priority of faith over action in the Christian world generally, that leads them to see questions and doubt as profound sins, that and the belief that doubt is “the devil.”

        Contrary to what Christianity teaches, doubting and questioning is an aspect of our innate humanity, snd it exists throughout scripture.

        When I read the book of Job, or I read how Abraham wanted to save Sodom with all his effort, I always wondered “How many Christians would ever talk to G-d in such a frank one onone way as Abraham did?”

  12. Concerned Reader says:

    10th man said:

    “Therefore you above all people know it is only good scholarly practice to read ancient religious texts in their historical, cultural and religious context. You appear to ignore this best scholarly practice in favor of viewing Y’shua through the lens of those who are a century to two millennia, a culture and a religion removed from Y’shua, then proceed to judge Y’shua and tell me I’m the one creating a personal reconstruction of Y’shua.” 

    NOT AT ALL. IM NOT IGNORING A THING.

    Ok, 10th man, Lets say you are right and that rabbinic tradition cannot be dated to before the 2nd century CE. Lets say Talmud does not matter.

    Even if this were so, As a scholar and historian, if I read the Tanakh for its own content and stated intent, it reflects books of laws, JPE &D.

    Messianic speculation beyond the simple definitions of an annointed prophet, priest, or mortal king are not found before the 2nd century BCE

    Only in 1st century sources can we find anything remotely resembling anything like a Christological definition of an anointed one.

    Only in the Parables of Enoch, a 1st century text do we see speaking of a “son of man,” who is deemed an angelic being.

    JP&D (older) all reflect a belief in strict monism.

    In those sources JP&D Sacrifices are declared kosher only in Jerusalem at the specified temple, and the laws in these texts state that Israel is only supposed to worship the father alone, not his entourage. Ie you saw no form of any kind.

    If I read the E source (Elohist), some level of fluidity of divine personality, plurality, or sonship/agency may be indicated, and sacrifices were permitted elsewhere, such as high places.

    IE 3 out of 4 pentateuchal sources indicate strict monotheism, sacrifice in Jerusalem alone, and a strict requirement to observe the laws.

    However, scholars who accept notions of divine fluidity and embodiment as found in the E source, like Segal, Boyarin, Sommer, Heiser, Andre Orlov, and Moshe Idel, all recognize either old Canaanite undertones or a slippery slope that can lead to polytheism that is found in these Elohist notions of fluidity, sonship, and embodiment .

    So, for exmple, 1 Israelite might say “the captain of the host is the Ben Elohim,” while a northern Israelite might say “Baal is a son of El.”

    EVEN IF WE CAN FIND BEN ELOHIM IN TORAH IT IS A DANGEROUS AND SLIPPERY SLOPE TO IDOLATRY.

    So, even if I could plug the New Testament theology of a divine son Jesus into a Jewish cultural framework and context as you suggest, it still doesnt change the truth that New Testament theological trends walk a dangerous line with what Pentateuch self defines as idol worship within its code of laws in 3/4 of its books as well as in the prophets.

    IE a Jewish context for the idea doesnt help Jesus any more than it would help a Baal worshiper or adherants of Chabad Messianism.

    If Jesus was a “unique son and Ben Elohim,” IE a creation of G-d, or an outpouring of divine wisdom, IE if he was divine “somehow,” then to worship him in any way is still idolatry as defined by Deuteronomy 4 and J & P where Israel is warned explicitly not to worship “the whole host of heaven.”

    IE if there is a hypothetical “we” in the godhead in Torah sources, Israel is still directly told only to worship the father in its oldest clearest sources.

    Consider that even The Christian sect only accepts Jesus as the true “Ben Elohim.”

    If any other Jewish sect says their teacher or Rav is a Ben Elohim, or that another rabbi fits a ben Elohim construct, the New Testament itself says to ignore such claims as “antiChrist.”

    So, 10th man, I dont care if you can plug Jesus or any other rabbi into a Jewish context for messianism, because even the broadest context you define has these rules, and lines that you cant cross.

    If I ask a Samaritan about new testament veneration of Jesus, he will call it idolatry just as a Jew does, and he’s not beholden to rabbis or a Talmud.

    Karaites also give the same assesment of New Testament descriptions of Yeshua.

    Your notion that it is merely a “new” rabbinic systemic theology allowing Jews to discount Yeshua is refuted directly by the evidence.

    How are other sects who reject Yeshua decidng to do it? They dont have the Talmud for you to blame.

    • 10th man says:

      10th man said:

      “Therefore you above all people know it is only good scholarly pr

      “Ok, 10th man, Lets say you are right and that rabbinic tradition cannot be dated to before the 2nd century CE. Lets say Talmud does not matter.”

      )) I didn’t say this. I think some aspects of rabbinic tradition can be traced back further, but only to after the first exile of Judah, – certainly not to Moses((

      “Even if this were so, As a scholar and historian, if I read the Tanakh for its own content and stated intent, it reflects books of laws, JPE &D.”

      )) I’m in agreement with with some sort of documentary/supplementary/fragmentary hypothesis, but at this point I don’t think the material can be cleanly or consistently accurately categorized. Even so how can you say J and E “reflects books of laws”?((

      “JP&D (older) all reflect a belief in strict monism.”

      ))how is it you figure they are older? E is usually figured to be the oldest, followed by J, then D and P((

      “IE 3 out of 4 pentateuchal sources indicate…..”

      ))are you treating the Text as an equation, a democracy rather than result of evolution?((

      “EVEN IF WE CAN FIND BEN ELOHIM IN TORAH IT IS A DANGEROUS AND SLIPPERY SLOPE TO IDOLATRY.”

      )) Concerned Reader, truth is not determined by the presence of slippery slopes. I find more often than not, the presence of slippery slopes indicate a truth is nearby. For example, a Ben Elohim rests on a narrow path along the top of a ridge with the slippery slope of idolatry on the right and the slippery of strict ritualistic monotheism on the left. Btw, from the top of this ridge, you can see a long way.((

      “So, even if I could plug the New Testament theology of a divine son Jesus into a Jewish cultural framework and context as you suggest,”

      )) I think you may be misreading me? This is not what I’ve been suggesting. I’m not suggesting to plug in “New Testament theology” into a Jewish cultural framework. Rather plug the words of Y’shua into the historical Jewish cultural framework of his day and see what he was saying.((

      “it still doesnt change the truth that New Testament theological trends walk a dangerous line”
      ))interpretation of ‘New Testament theology’ varies radically, making it a very broad and almost meaningless term. Do some walk a dangerous line, yes and some are over the line.((

      “…..then to worship him in any way is still idolatry….”

      )) thank you for this as it illustrates the slippery slope of strict ritual monotheism combined with strict uncompromising interpretated literal inerrancy. “worship” is a word with different levels of meaning. ONLY Hashem can be truly worshipped as Ha El Elyon. But others are worshipped as appointed kings or in our case a uniquely appointed Ben Elohim.((

      “If any other Jewish sect says their teacher or Rav is a Ben Elohim, or that another rabbi fits a ben Elohim construct, the New Testament itself says to ignore such claims as “antiChrist.””

      )) you’ve conflated a few different books and man made New Testament theology to reach this skewed statement. I’m trying to determine how many words it word take to sort this messy statement out and would give it the time except with your education, you already know it’s a conflated statement.((

      “refuted”
      )) Observation: this seems to be the favorite word here. I think I’ve seen this word more on this site (directed at me) than anywhere in the last few years.((

      “How are other sects who reject Yeshua decidng to do it? They dont have the Talmud for you to blame.”

      )) are you accidentally projecting something onto me? I don’t remember blaming the Talmud for anything. But to answer your question; in my experience Y’shua is rejected for personal reasons. Then other reasons are given to bolster the unsaid, often subconscious personal reasons for rejection of such a great expression of Love from HaShem.((

      • Jim says:

        10th man,

        Please let us know, are you or are you not the same person that used to comment here under the name “CP”?

        Jim

  13. Concerned Reader says:

    Yes, 10th man the E source is oldest as scholars believe it reflects a henotheistic reality in ancient Israel according to the hypothesis. The J P and D sources reflect the overall development of a strict monotheism. That was my point. I misspoke about J & E as “books of laws,” I know its just narrative material like the creation story.

    ))are you treating the Text as an equation, a democracy rather than result of evolution?((

    Even if there was an evolution towards stricter monotheism, Jesus devotion would be a de evolution, a clear step backwards, that’s the point.

    The fact that you recognize Jesus devotion as being a narrow road at the top of a ridge with “idolatry on the left” tells me that you don’t really seem to care just how slippery a slope we are talking about.

    I mentioned the anti Christ tradition because the New Testament recognized this slippery slope within its own texts in the case of everyone else, and every other Messiah claimant, they just made exception for Jesus.

    I assume you would agree with Jews who reject the Chabad Rebbe as a Messiah?

    You say “worship” means many different things. That may be true, but we have unambiguous teaching saying what it cant mean in Deuteronomy 4.

    Honor offered to a functionary or an agent is not what the Greek New Testament does to Jesus, so I find this kind of minutiae irrelevant. Its also irrelevant to the devotion offered in the earliest days of the Jesus movement. You don’t sing songs to a guy with a message.

    If the king sends forth a messenger with a message, that person is not meant to overwhelm the message. Jesus’ person clearly overwhelms the message.

    A Jesus believer trusts the person of Jesus himself is THE ONLY atonement for their sins. That is not treating him as a man who is “worshiped” in the sense of honored because he has a message. That is a man being served and doted on due to his own acts.

    Did Jesus believe in the documentary hypothesis? Did Jesus believe in Henotheism or was he a product of the strict monotheism of the Pharisees in the 1st century CE?

    You still haven’t responded to the point that every other historical Jewish group has likewise rejected Jesus, even when they were not under the influence of the rabbinic tradition.

    If you are asking “why don’t you guys listen to Jesus for what he said?” In so far as he spoke Torah, Jews already do listen, but Jesus’ person becomes irrelevant once we reach that point.

    The element that says we must listen TO HIM and that he is a Ben Elohim who must be served or honored is what is foreign. Jesus doesn’t deserve any more attention than any other rabbi gets, in fact, he deserves less because his message was so unclear that he became the focus, and not G-d.

  14. Concerned Reader says:

    In fact, if you really see Jesus as just a basic 1st century rabbi, why are you here trying to get rabbis to acknowledge something that has nothing to do with the work they are doing? The rabbis here are trying to stop missionary work (Orthodox Christian Missionary work.)

    If the rabbis are saying “prayer to Jesus is idolatrous,” do you disagree? If they say “he is not the only way to be forgiven” do you disagree? If they say he didn’t initiate the ingathering of the exiles or building of the temple, do you disagree?

    What exactly do you want Jews to recognize about Jesus that is relevant to this blog’s Modus Operandi?

    • Concerned Reader says:

      10th Man, I think you should watch this video. One side is traditional trinitarians, the other side is unitarians trying to put Jesus in his context. Look carefully at how both groups DO and advocate the same thing.

      • 10th man says:

        Concerned Reader,
        Thanks for the video link, I watched it last night – whew, it was long! – and painful. I’ve always liked Buzzard, idk, maybe it’s his accent, lol. And ole’ Brown can’t be faulted on talent – he is good at what he does, currently perhaps the best.

        But in the end, how sad;
        four believers in Y’shua doubting the salvation of the others on the basis of committing idolatry, in turn based on the spiritual identity of Y’shua, when Y’shua own words explicitly state more than once; ‘no one knows him except the Father’.

        Which brings us almost full circle back to Judaism. They also reject Y’shua based on spiritual identity. You know the saying; “The devil is in the details” seems to be the case with all this. Systematic Christian Theology has their system(s) all worked out. Rabbinic Ritual Judaism has their system all worked out. But both are amiss concerning God given personal freedom to individually work out our relationship with HaShem.

        No where in all of Scripture (Hebrew & Greek) does it say I must believe Y’shua is part of a trinity or specifically the end of days Messiah. Even if he turns out to be both, it is; wait and see rather than; you best believe or forfeit eternity. I do think Y’shua must be recognized as a Shaliah in the broadest sense of the term to take his message seriously. Because many of his words concerned his appointment from HaShem. To deny his words is to deny his message. If his message is HaShem’s message then those who deny Y’shua, deny HaShem.

        Therefore, denial of Y’shua cannot intellectually be based on his spiritual identity, – in his own words, no human knows it. Rather it has to be based on his message. I find no grounds to reject Y’shua based on his message.

  15. Concerned Reader says:

    —) RT,
    this is a Jewish website? From all appearances I thought it an anti-Christian, anti-Y’shua website (—

    I thought you didnt agree with Christian doctrines 10th man? If Jews defending their

    rights to believe in their religion without Jesus a god man is anti Christian, then so be it.

    Jews practiced Judaism without Jesus for a very long time. If defending themselves from Christian mussionary efforts is anti Christian, so be it.

    Why did you double down on your fake Talmud quotes? Rabbinic literature does not say what you claim. Nobody who wrote midrashim found in the Talmuds believes in anything about Jesus, or any of the other claimants, Just accept it. That is the truth.

    I would never read a Quran to get a Christian’s view of Jesus, so why do you double down using Christian sourced Talmud quotes?

    Also, there are no latin commentaries on Talmud, which tells me that you are using a Christian treatise. Why? Especially when I brought up Church history before and you said it was irrelevant?

    FYI this behavior is why you get accused. You peddle a hypithesis you have that is cobbled from suspect or faked sources, and then you assert that it reflects reality.

    I dont personally mind if you find Jesus to be a moral teacher and 1st century Jew, but if you need to twist sources to do it, thats not good.

    When I was a Christian, I would only use the Talmud quotes if I got my quotes directly from reputable Jewish sources.

    I never used Christian sourced Talmud quotes, because 9 times out of 10 its a conflated quote (mixing up different sources, or taking from obscure manuscripts, or even manuscript varients that are not in print.

    You should really read my old posts.

    • 10th man says:

      Why did you double down on your fake Talmud quotes?
      )) ??? They weren’t fake, I posted one and proved so. The other I admitted came from a commentary((

      “Rabbinic literature does not say what you claim. Nobody who wrote midrashim found in the Talmuds believes in anything about Jesus, or any of the other claimants, Just accept it. That is the truth.”

      “Also, there are no latin commentaries on Talmud”

      )) that’s where I traced it to. ((
      )) I lean towards the hypothesis they were censored in an attempt to avoid increased persecution((

      “I dont personally mind if you find Jesus to be a moral teacher and 1st century Jew, but if you need to twist sources to do it, thats not good.”

      )) this type of comment from others wouldn’t surprise me, from you; it is particularly saddening. Disclaimer: No sources were intentionally twisted in the making of my comments. ((

      Concerned Reader,
      why the sudden urge to discuss what transpired and was put to rest
      weeks ago? Is it an attempt to divert attention away from the fictitiousness of the Sabbath candle prayer, the Jewish months named after Babylonian deities or that Rabbinic Judaism can’t be traced past Babylon?

      • 10th man
        The Sabbath candle prayer is paralleled in the Talmud and earlier by similar prayers
        The Bible uses the Babylonian names
        And the Bible itself tells us that this is where we should find our leadership (Ezra Nehemiah)
        The sources WERE intentionally twisted in order to give you your quotes – not by you – but by those who you respect by believing their slander
        You have provided enough of an example for your faith – Thanks

      • Jim says:

        10th man,

        The legitimacy of your quote, how you labelled it, and that you have yet to list its source is not put to rest on your say-so. But, you are right that it is a distraction in this sense. It has buried the following inquiry:

        Please let us know, are you or are you not the same person that used to comment here under the name “CP”.

        Jim

  16. Concerned Reader says:

    But in the end, how sad;
    four believers in Y’shua doubting the salvation of the others on the basis of committing idolatry,

    According to Deuteronomy 4 both the triniarians AND UNITARIANS in that video are guilty of

  17. Concerned Reader says:

    But in the end, how sad;
    four believers in Y’shua doubting the salvation of the others on the basis of committing idolatry,

    According to a plain reading of Deuteronomy chapter 4 both the triniarians AND THE UNITARIANS in that video are guilty of idol worship, because in principle they do the same thing, but with different justifications for why they do it.

    Dr. Buzzard said he actually believed that it was ok to worship Jesus as a unique sinless man if G-d ordained it.

    That is the definition of foreign worship, and we have explicit examples where G-d says he detests that.

    Remember when Israel worshiped the brass serpent and the king had to destroy it?

    This debate illustrates the Same sin by both parties in the debate. Just because G-d sends a message through someone or something doesnt mean that you worship the messanger.

    We are explicitly told not to worship “the whole host of heaven,” IE G-d’s entourage, and that you saw no form at Sinai whether formed like a man or woman, or any shape.

    Why is this so? Because to put G-d into a form breeds corruption. If it were a few hundred years ago, this debate would have ended with trinitarians killng unitarians, when the itony is that both groups are absolutely fine worshiping a man!

    Thats the definition of the corruption G-d warned Israel about if they assigned a form to G-d in Deuteronomy 4.

  18. Concerned Reader says:

    A Shaliach is not above the Torah, and a Shaliach’s personal identity is not supposed to overshadow the commandments.

    A Shaliach is a megaphone for Torah concepts, and only that. Shaliach is a concept thats true, but if that agent becomes a barrier of entry, its n longer a Shaliach.

    You (as other messianists in other groups do with their rebbes) have inadvertently tied Jesus’ person as a requirement and prerequisite to a proper relationship with G-d.

    Rabbis reject Jesus, the rebbe, Shabbatai Tzvi, and others for the EXACT SAME REASONS.

  19. Dina says:

    Is Jesus Needed for a Relationship with God?

    Hint: The answer is no.

    For one and half millennia before the advent of Jesus, the Children of Israel enjoyed a close relationship with God. Many of them personally encountered Him in visions and dreams. The absence of a Jesus was no impediment to their pursuance of a deep emotional and spiritual connection to God.

    The same holds true after Jesus appeared. A particular commenter on this blog insists that to deny Jesus is to deny Hashem, because Jesus carried His message. The message of Hashem is His Torah. If we have Hashem’s Torah, what do we need Jesus for? The fact is, we don’t.

    This commenter has taken it upon himself to know what is in the heart of Jews regarding our Creator, and he has found it lacking. Speaking for myself, I cannot deny my own religious experience. However, I find it unseemly to describe my relationship with God, a private and intimate part of my life. Instead, allow me to share a moving account of some Holocaust victims.

    The Nazis stole a parochet (curtain that covers the ark containing the Torah) from a synagogue and hung it over the entrance to the gas chamber to further mock and humiliate the Jews on the way to their deaths. Imagine the consternation of these monsters when their victims burst into song and dance. They thought these Jews had certainly gone mad. What they did not know was that embroidered onto the curtain were the Hebrew words from a psalm that said: “This is the gate to the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.”

    As a child living under the shadow of the Holocaust, I grew up hearing stories of the Jews who sang the Ani Ma’amin on the way to their deaths.

    Religious Jews talk about God all day. We don’t talk much about rabbis. We don’t even talk much about Moses. You won’t hear Jews saying, “Thank Moses” or “Bless Moses” or “Praise Moses”–God forbid it! You will hear them say “If God wills it” or “with God’s help” or “Thank God” or “Do you want to hear such Divine Providence I experienced today when [fill in the blank]?”

    Even my four-year-old daughter has conversations with God. She was sitting on my lap the other day, paging through a book on sea creatures. When she reached a scary illustration of a shark biting a man’s leg, she lifted her head up, and gesturing with her hand to the ceiling, said, “Hashem, please don’t make sharks, only make fishies, okay, Hashem?”

    I dare anyone to say that these people, with their deep faith in and deep love for God, who bravely and even joyously went to their deaths, lacked a connection with Him because they didn’t accept Jesus as their lord and savior but only the one true God of Israel.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      “Hashem, please don’t make sharks, only make fishies, okay, Hashem?”

      Aaaawwwweeeee! Thats adorable.

      • Dina says:

        Thanks, I think so too :)!

        • RT says:

          CP’s facts come from the anti-Judaism movement (AKA Messianic movement), not from his experience. It’s easy to find things against the Jews, you can google it, and it’s rampant on the messianic world. My “messianic” rabbi was making fun of Judaism all the time with his so called Jokes. Nobody realized it was inappropriate, but me. Messianic find the same garbage than CP on the internet and share it with a whole congregation. You can see all of them saying “I love the Jews”, but the only thing they want to do is to convert them. I feel ashamed of myself to ever have believed such a thing. I was saying “I love the Jews” and made friend with some, but really it was to convert them… (luckily, I was not good at it..)

          • Dina says:

            It’s amazing that you came out of it, RT. I find it frightening how much contempt for Jews and Judaism lies just below the surface of the professions of love. CP/10th is a perfect example.

          • RT says:

            Yes, if you say you love the Jews, but hate everything that they believe, then, do you really love them, or not? CP might think he stays here because he love you and care for your salvation, but this is not real love. You can’t love someone if you want to change everything about that person! Then that person, would not be the one you love, but you would love only the person if he/she agrees with you! The same holds with Jesus, he sais he loves you, but will throw you in hell if you don’t accept him back and love him. That’s creepy, and wrong! This is the perfect example of a selfish love!

    • This is definitely the most inspiring and moving story of the year for me! Thanks sister! Yes, i believe Jesus is not needed for those who know the living God and the truth in His word. Also i believe they say “we don’t need Jesus” because they already have Jesus as the truth and life in them.

      “…you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.” 1 John2:20-21

      • RT says:

        If they don’t believe in Jesus, how can they have Jesus in their heart? Not sure I understand….

        • Brother RT, don’t you remember how often the N.T. emphasize the “NAME” of Jesus?
          For example, 1 John 2:12 says, ” I am writing to you, little children, that your sins have been forgiven because of (literally “THROUH”) his NAME.” Not because you believe in, not because someone put faith in him, not because someone followed Jesus, but through his NAME! and I believe God- fearers and lovers of God of Israel have already the name “YESHUA” which is God’s salvation. Again, the good new is not about “God will save you if you believe in Yeshua,” the good news is about “God has SAVED you – the covenant people through what God has already done in Yeshua!” Hag Sameach~

          • Dina says:

            Gean,

            For nearly 2000 years, my people testified at great personal cost and even unto death that Jesus was a false prophet, a false messiah, and not God.

            We clung to the Torah and preserved her truth, testifying to all the world that salvation for sins comes not from God but from personal mastery over yourself and through repentance. We testified that the salvation of the Jewish people from her enemies would come from God to the eyes of all the world at the end of days.

            I know you mean no disrespect to the Jewish people when you say that the salvation that is inherent in Jesus’s name, salvation from sin, is already ours from God. But you disrespect all the Jews throughout history who rejected this belief and laid down their lives rather than accept it. And you disrespect all Jews today who reject the ideas you expressed in your previous comment by telling us we have that salvation we don’t believe in.

            In the past, I have presented you with crystal clear Scriptural passages that prove that each man is the master of his own spiritual fate. Please see, again, Genesis 4:7, Deuteronomy 30, Ezekiel 18 and 33.

            In the past, I have shown you that the word “salvation” (yeshua in Hebrew) is never once used in the sense of spiritual salvation.

          • Dina says:

            I mean to say, it is never once used in the Hebrew Bible that way.

          • RT says:

            Hi Gean, even if I don’t agree with you, I don’t see too much harm in that belief. I think that the world would have been a better place if all Christians would have believe what you believe….

  20. Concerned Reader says:

    Therefore, denial of Y’shua cannot intellectually be based on his spiritual identity, – in his own words, no human knows it.

    10th man, you want us to judge Jesus based on invisible Christians that we don’t interact with in daily life that just happen hold beliefs like yours.

    It wasn’t until well into the protestant reformation that Christians even made a claim about an “invisible body of Christ.”

    Also, even if there is an invisible body, its irrelevant, because you literally don’t know who it is.
    You could be interacting with a G-d fearing person from any faith tradition, and they could be in this “invisible body,” the point is, you have no knowledge of who these folk are.

    BTW did an invisible body compile and edit the NT text in literary Greek? Or did men who make discernible claims about their theology do that?

    You say I’m judging based on a “system.” What are you doing in your judgement of rabbinic Jews? The exact same thing!

    You are judging people here based on your perceptions of rabbis. It doesn’t matter if we tell you that our views don’t depend on rabbis.

    YOU ALSO KEEP NEGLECTING MY POINT ABOUT THE OTHER GROUPS WHO CLEAVE TO TORAH AND WHO REJECT JESUS AND ALSO THE RABBIS TOO!

    These Unicorn Christians who only listen to the ethics of Jesus do not knock on my door. Baptists who want me to “eat his flesh and drink his blood” in cracker form or burn in hell are the ones who knock on my door.

    This is the entire problem I have with your position and approach. You want us to judge visible Christians, real people who read the NT and act ridiculously based on its verses, and have done so for centuries, by the standards that you apply to this invisible Christianity.

    You have made up your own standards. There are no other ways to put it.

    You may feel comfortable neglecting the day to day realities of what Christians do to other people all over this planet, but I’m not. Christians believe there is no atonement without Jesus’ blood. The Torah demonstrates that this is false.

    If I have to dig through 8,000 pounds of pure trash to get a sliver of truth that is already stated plainly in the Torah without the garbage, I’ll take the truth from that.

    As Dina pointed out, nowhere does Tanakh state that your relationship to G-d is tied to the acceptance of a man, be he Moshiach, or prophet.

    • Concerned Reader says:

      10th man, I want to ask you. Why is not enough for me to respect Jesus’ ethical teachings, and to try to live by them? Why is that not enough? Why do you need the man Jesus to be part of your life beyond following in his example?

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