Cut Off

Cut Off

Replacement theology is on its way out amongst many Christians. Many Christians are coming to believe that the Jewish people are still chosen by God. I see this as a positive development in Christianity. With the stranglehold of the establishment Church broken, Christians are reading the Bible on their own and coming to their own conclusions. It is not easy for people to begin thinking in a direction that they are not accustomed to, but as the decades and centuries move on, progress is being made. More and more Christians are discovering that the Bible teaches doctrine that is different than what is taught by the establishment Church. This process influences the Churches as well, who realign their doctrines to the Biblical truths discovered by their supporters. It is my belief that the truth of God will eventually triumph completely and Christians will learn that Jesus was not who he claimed to be and that the Christians Scriptures have no place next to the Jewish Bible. In the meantime, I applaud any step taken towards God’s truth.

Despite the fact that so many Christians have come to the recognition that the Jewish people are still God’s elect, still, the full ramifications of this truth have yet to set in. If you were to ask a Christian the following question: Where are most Jews who ever lived? Consider all of the Jews who ever lived and tell me – do you think that the majority of them are in heaven or do you believe that they are in hell? I find that Christians do not appreciate the question, but when they do respond, they tell me that the vast majority of Jews who ever lived are presently in hell. Christians who have accepted the teaching that there is no forgiveness for sin without the blood of Jesus, will have to believe that those who did not believe in Jesus, be they Jewish or gentile, did not receive forgiveness for their sins and consequently must be burning in the fires of hell.

So here is the problem. Why is it then, that when God threatens a Jew with punishment, He declares: “That soul shall be cut off from her nation”? If the nation is in hell, then what’s the big deal? Why wouldn’t you want to be cut off from such a nation? It is obvious that the vast majority of Jews are in a good place, and that being cut off from the Jewish people is not a positive spiritual proposition. God does not believe that the majority of the Jewish people are burning in hell, and He expects the readers of His book to be frightened by the threat of being cut off from the Jewish nation.

Here are some of the Biblical references. Genesis 17:14, Exodus 12:15,19, 31:14, Leviticus 7:20,21,25,27, 19:8, 22:3, 23;29, Numbers 9:13, 15:30, 19:13,20, Ezekiel 13:9. Please read them and think about them.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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117 Responses to Cut Off

  1. Michael C says:

    hi,

    these verses, in my reading, certainly seem to stress that being cut off from israel is not a good thing, but how do we know these verses speak of the afterlife, rather than just on earth?

  2. Hi Michael
    Thanks for an excellent question. As a response, I bring three points to your attention.
    1 – The Jewish Scriptures do not speak much about the afterlife in an open and explicit way – but the expression “cut off from your nation” seems to be just such a reference. The Scriptures describe people passing on from this world – and especially righteous people – with the expression “gathered unto his nation” or “unto his fathers”. (Some of the Scriptural references are – Genesis 15:15, Numbers 20:24, Judges 2:10, 2Chronicles 34:28.). Being cut off from the nation seems to be referring to being cut off from the expected afterlife experience.( Also note the similar wording in Ezekiel 13;9 and Daniel 12:1, and Isaiah 4:3.)
    2 – The punishment for Scripture’s worst sin – idolatry – is “being cut off from the nation” (Leviticus 20:3, Numbers 15:31). Whatever Scripture is referring to – you want to find yourself on the other side of it.
    3 – Finally – Let us assume for a minute that the Scripture is referring to being cut off in this life. Still, if the path that Israel is taking leads to hell – so its not too terrible to be cut off from them in this world.
    I hope this helped
    Your Pharisee Friend

  3. Pingback: To be cut off… « A deeper look at the Real Messianic Jews

  4. yash613 says:

    Dear Rabbi,

    I posted this article on my blog – I hope you don’t mind!

    Yash

  5. Joseph says:

    Hi R Blumenthal, long time no speak! I can’t answer your questions about the final destination of any given human being because I am not God. However I do know he is gracious and merciful. I believe that God opened up the channel of yeshuos via Yeshua, and that is what keeps Israel vital.

    I’d like to agree with your position about replacement theology, it’s certainly good that many churches are re-evaluating this teaching, but there’s a lot of work to be done and there’s a lot of misunderstanding. It can be frustrating sometimes urging churches to fully understand replacementism and why it is harmful, but I’m sure it’s worth it in the end.

  6. Hi Joseph
    About the “channel of yeshuos” – I suggest that you read Psalm 119:155. Reading Psalm 103:17 wouldn’t hurt you either.
    Your frustration about getting the Churches to reevaluate replacementism – It is certainly frustrating to try to get people to reevaluate doctrines that they have long held to be true – as long as you believe that it is your effort that will bring the results. But if you recognize that God is the ultimate teacher and that your work is only an expression of your love for Him and His children – you will recognize that God is holding you hand and every step of the way (Isaiah 41:13). Joseph, there is no more enjoyable journey. Just make sure you are holding on to the hand of the only One whose hand does not need to be held (Isiaah 2:22)
    Your Pharisee friend

  7. Concerned Reader says:

    do you think that the majority of them are in heaven or do you believe that they are in hell? I find that Christians do not appreciate the question, but when they do respond, they tell me that the vast majority of Jews who ever lived are presently in hell.

    Rabbi B, Any mindful orthodox Christian should only answer your question with an “I don’t know,” as we are not G-d. As to whether good upstanding Jewish people will go to heaven, may I ask said Christians a question? Is Gamliel in heaven? The disciples seemed to respect this sage of the Talmud very greatly, and he showed them kindness and respect. Were the Pharisees who saved Jesus from Herod Antipas going to Heaven? (Luke 13:31) We know from Romans 2:13 that it is the doer of the work that is justified, not the hearer, or him with mere belief.(James 2:14-26) If the replacement theologian is right that all peoples must become Christian, I point them to Acts 15:1

    Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”

    Let’s see this verse with a slight change shall we? Unless you are baptized, according to the custom taught by The Church, you cannot be saved.”

    Those who teach this way have rebuilt a wall of enmity, which it is wrong to do. Only G-d knows the eternal destination of anyone, but if I may ask these Christians again, who are the only ones who still live like Jesus actually lived? Who are the only ones who keep the festivals he kept, who wear the fringes that he wore? Who can tell you the details of the holiday from John 10:22? Who prays for G-d’s grace in their life when they rise and when they sleep? Who is it who prays for G-d’s mercy and truth to shine on all people everywhere? Any Christian of the opinion that they are the center of the universe needs to think again.

    • Dina says:

      Con, you’re making good points from a Jewish point of view, but not from a Christian one. That’s because your own scripture clearly spells out the fate of those who do not accept Jesus (Mark 16:16; John 3:36; Luke 19:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Revelation 21:8).

      The fact that other parts of your scripture indicate otherwise is irrelevant. It’s inherently full of contradictions, the biggest being its repudiation of Torah while pretending to draw its authority from it.

      • LarryB says:

        Others would argue, there is no other way to be reconciled to God than through Jesus Christ. If they we’re to conclude that people can get to heaven apart from faith in Jesus Christ, this would mean there is some other way to get to heaven. Such a conclusion would contradict their Scripture, and make Jesus’ death meaningless. As Paul said, “if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Gal. 2:21). Christian Scripture is clear that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary and the only means of salvation.

        • LarryB says:

          As for the catholics, “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother” Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself affirms: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:16).
          Sorry Protestants etc., etc., etc..

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Dina and Larry, the assumption of the NT authors, and the Church is that Jesus was a manifestation of G-d himself. Ie the son is in the father, and the father is in the son. If that was true (for the sake of argument let’s say that its true,) then limiting G-d to this one manifestation (as the nazarene) would be a heresy (known to history as the Jesus only heresy in Christianity.) As I’ve pointed out above, the NT text assumes Jesus is Hashem, but that this fact does not thereby limit hashem’s operation to Jesus or to Christianity. Does that make sense?

        The fact that other parts of your scripture indicate otherwise is irrelevant.

        It is by no means irrelevant Dina, as it is just as much a Christian teaching as is any other in the text. Mathew 25:31-46 assumes as an outright given that there are in fact people who are not known to Jesus’ movement, or to Christianity, who are nonetheless godly people. Romans 11 outright tells us that the Jewish people have G-d’s care, and that we are not to boast. In short, I am not misreading the NT.

        • LarryB says:

          CR
          It makes perfect sense when you have a hybrid G-d.

          • mansubzero says:

            no , this is a lesser god. jesus does not know the mind of the father. jesus says that the fathers will DOMINATES the will of jesus, “not what i want, but what you want”

            clearly they are not the same will, till john comes along and makes jesus and his dads will the same

            here is proof

            http://vridar.org/2013/12/10/how-john-used-mark-investigating-the-methods-of-the-fourth-evangelist-part-1/

            why did john, when he used mark, remove jesus prayer about wanting the cup to be removed? as the article says

            “John’s Jesus is thus a full participant in the plan, not a submissive servant doing something he would rather not do. Jesus’ explicit reference to taking the cup and drinking from it demonstrates John’s familiarity with and rejection of the Markan account.”

          • mansubzero says:

            it is a double minded god which allows the divine nature to get dominated by the human nature/mind.

        • Sharbano says:

          I realize you have your own interpretations of Xtian teachings but many do not subscribe to your theological conclusions. In fact, every single Xtian I’ve encountered for five decades doesn’t hold your views. Those individuals have also used references that clearly define their theological viewpoint. So, it’s been my experience that you are in a minority, and it’s not the minority who are followed. 🙂

        • Dina says:

          Con, you wrote: “As I’ve pointed out above, the NT text assumes Jesus is Hashem, but that this fact does not thereby limit hashem’s operation to Jesus or to Christianity. Does that make sense?”

          No, it’s one of your brain twisting arguments and therefore does not make sense. The NT clearly teaches that you can’t be saved, whatever that means, without Jesus.

          Also, yes, your scripture contradicts itself on its position, so how do you decide which one to emphasize? You are not misreading the NT? You are choosing to ignore the nasty passages I cited.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            Why would I want to read any of the NT? Judaism does not need the NT to prove who is and is not G-d. Christians are the ones who squeeze Christ into the Torah until it is unrecognizable.

        • LarryB says:

          subzero
          If J is the “word”, which I do not believe, then the word would know exactly what the Father wanted. How else could he the word, create everything? A few christians might not believe all that but to 90 percent of the christians J is the man. Or should i say G-d?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            If J is the “word”, which I do not believe, then the word would know exactly what the Father wanted.

            Right, but read along with the verses in Philippians 2, it shows that while Jesus is G-d, (by nature) he does not regard equality with the father, a position to be grasped, but is subordinate to his will.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            I’m not asking you to read the NT. You are saying that Christians view things a certain way, saying certain things are or aren’t representative of Christianity, I’m pointing out that your view isn’t taking certain things into account.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            I do not take anything in the NT into account. I was simply pointing out most christians believe J is G-d. Do you deny that?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Yes Larry, most Christians believe Jesus is G-d, (many don’t ) but if a Christian does believe he’s G-d, it does not mean that G-d is limited to operation through Jesus.

          • LarryB says:

            CR
            And I agree that what Christians believe have nothing to do with what G-d does. Except for he has mentioned he does not like idolatry, like belief that J is G-d.

          • mansubzero says:

            “If J is the “word”, which I do not believe, then the word would know exactly what the Father wanted.”

            in god exists conscious minds which are in a hierarchy. the word was conscious of it’s ignorance and at the same time the father knew what the word didn’t. these are 2 minds which do not DILUTE. this is why christians present a language like the following , ” that is jesus who does not know the mind of the father , and that over there is the father who does know the mind of the jesus”

          • LarryB says:

            Subzero
            “in god exists conscious minds which are in a hierarchy”. ???????????

          • mansubzero says:

            Matthew28:18
            in trinity there is one powerful person who gives something to another lesser person. it seems that in trinity one person lacks something the other person has. it seems to me that the trinity has hierarchy with in it.

            Examples Word Origin
            noun, plural hierarchies.
            1.
            any system of persons or things ranked one above another.

            which means that each person cannot be co-equal

            co-equal
            adjective
            1.
            equal with another or each other in rank, ability, extent, etc.:

            coequal
            /kəʊˈiːkwəl/
            adjective
            1.
            of the same size, rank, etc
            noun
            2.
            a person or thing equal with another

          • LarryB says:

            Subzero
            I see your point, wow, that’s something else.

          • mansubzero says:

            noun, plural hierarchies.
            1.
            any system of persons or things ranked one above another.

            it is because of the ranking there is distinction. one mind has knowledge the other doesn’t . if they all had co-equality, then co equality means

            co-equal
            adjective
            1.
            equal with another or each other in rank, ability, extent, etc.:

            but this cannot be the case otherwise each person would be identical to the other and one would say jesus exists in twin/triplet relationship with the SAME person

            the christian is presenting the language “that is jesus and that , over there , is the father”

  8. Annelise says:

    Many Christians believe that if someone doesn’t know about Jesus, or ignorantly rejects him rather than doing so as a willful act of rebellion, then ‘only God knows’. Their conviction of His justice leads them to speculate that such people are probably ‘saved’ through Jesus too, only without knowing it.

    • Dina says:

      It’s a non-scriptural argument, Annelise, because Christian scripture doesn’t make such allowances. That’s the first point. The second point is that all Jews know about Jesus, being surrounded by Christians, and thus Christians can’t indulge in wishful thinking that their rejection is out of ignorance. If they do, they simply haven’t thought this through, or don’t want to confront the issue.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Dina, if it was a non scriptural teaching, then the argument in Acts 15 about who is saved would make no sense. The assumption at the core of the Christian bible is that G-d is no respecter of persons, and that he is just.

  9. Dina says:

    Yes, I have found that a lot of Christians answer the question of where Jews are headed in the afterlife with “I don’t know because I’m not God,” too embarrassed to say what their scripture clearly teaches. One person loftily told me, “Some Christians presume to know the answer to this question; I do not.” Yeah, sure, whatever.

    How it makes sense to them that we are still God’s chosen people although He’s been sending generations of us to hell is beyond me.

    • Dina, I honestly hope you don’t see all Christians as willfully hypocritical, because that is respectfully a huge assumption on your part about the nature of another individual’s walk with G-d. If Jesus was the “only way” in the sense of Christianity =saved and non Christanity=lost than the Marcionites would have been A ok with the Church. They clearly weren’t.

      Your reading of Christianity assumes that saved = a one time trip to a Baptismal font, and not a lifetime of following in Jesus’ steps. That is a HUGE mistake.

      • Dina says:

        As you often do, Con, you are responding to an argument you wish I had made but did not. You haven’t responded to my actual argument.

        But since you brought it up, I’m sorry to tell you that there are millions of Protestants who would disagree with you there. They believe that their good deeds are nothing more than dirty rags in God’s eyes, and the only way to be saved is through acceptance of Jesus as their lord and savior. They believe that their deeds don’t mean a thing. I am not making this up or making assumptions about their willful hypocrisy–I never said they were willful hypocrites; you put words in my mouth. But I am accurately describing their beliefs.

        If you happen not to subscribe to this belief, good for you. But this argument isn’t about you. It’s about typical Christian beliefs.

        • Concerned Reader says:

          I never said they were willful hypocrites; you put words in my mouth. Maybe I misunderstood your rhetorical statements here: “One person loftily told me, “Some Christians presume to know the answer to this question; I do not.” Yeah, sure, whatever.” You definitely give the impression with this statement that you find Christians hypocritical.

          • Dina says:

            Con, I should have been more clear, and instead of writing “yeah, sure, whatever,” I should have written that he was unwilling to confront his own scripture on the issue and it was easier for him to pretend (unconsciously, of course) that this was superior to the position of those who presume to know.

            It’s interesting that you responded to your assumption about the tone of my argument rather than to the substance of my argument itself. Interesting, but not surprising.

            Have a nice weekend,
            Dina

          • Concerned Reader says:

            that there are millions of Protestants who would disagree with you there. They believe that their good deeds are nothing more than dirty rags in God’s eyes, and the only way to be saved is through acceptance of Jesus as their lord and savior. They believe that their deeds don’t mean a thing.

            Dina, I don’t need a lecture on Protestants, I was raised Protestant. The Protestants also clearly teach that there is a saving “sola Fide,” or faith only, contrasted with a false one. They teach (with scripture) that A saving faith will manifest in good works, as the book says in John 14:12. Works salvation, is a salvation that says I’m Christian therefore I’m saved.

            “Works” in a Christian context always means most clearly communal identity markers, and self righteous actions. Also, consider that many Protestants teach that the Church is made up of the “invisible communion of believers,” exemplified by a book like Foxes book of Martyrs.

            Luther was opposed to Papal granting of indulgences, (paying to shorten your time in purgatory,) also known as a type of Simony. So, in Protestantism, there are many who teach, just as Annelise said, that we don’t know who is saved, it’s up to G-d.

          • Dina says:

            Whoa, whoa, whoa Con. You lecture us about our beliefs all the time (just see your post below about Saadya Goan and kavod nivra), but you take exception when I present Protestant beliefs because you were raised Protestant? How fast can you write #doublestandard?

            I still stand by what I said. What you wrote about faith manifesting in good works is completely irrelevant. Protestants believe that good works won’t save you if you don’t accept Jesus as your lord and savior. Do you deny that?

            Also, indulgences and penances and all that are completely irrelevant; I don’t even know why you brought it up.

  10. Tom Quinlan says:

    The “cutting off,” or exclusion from the eternal King and His Kingdom IS hell. Rabbi, you have just expounded a healthy portion of the Old Testament background of this Christian doctrine.

  11. Tom
    So which “nation” are we supposed to be frightened to be “cut off” from?

    • Tom Quinlan says:

      Dear Pharisee Friend,
      The eternal Israel, where David shall be prince forever.

      (Posted a second time just in case I didn’t do it right the first time. Re-subscribing for a day or two).

  12. Tom Quinlan says:

    Dear Pharisee Friend,
    The eternal Israel, where David shall be prince forever.

  13. Concerned Reader says:

    “in god exists conscious minds which are in a hierarchy”. ???????????

    In Judaism you have The Study of Ezekiel’s Chariot, ie studies of How a transcendent G-d interacts with a finite world? You teach that you have Hashem, and then his angels, deemed as his creations and “ministers of flaming fire.” One of these “angels” actually says in first person in scripture, “I am the G-d of bethel.” Can a creature say it is G-d? If yes, then you have Hashem, and a created glory (Kavod Nivra) that reveals his will. (Like Saadia Gaon Taught was the case,) or you have 2 “personal manifestations” in the one nature of G-d. Persons in Christian theology is not making G-d into three, it is describing what we see of his scriptural interaction with us, but in ontological terms. Scripture says nobody has ever seen G-d, but also says clearly that we have perceived/”seen” him face to face. Either this is true, and we really have “seen” G-d, as scripture says, or it’s not true and we have merely seen created messengers. Nobody is doubting G-d is one, nobody is doubting that he is not limited to operation through our communities.

    • Dina says:

      Con, you still don’t get it. Even if we accepted your argument (we don’t; you completely misrepresent our position, but even if you were correct), you continue to ignore the fact that these angels or manifestations as you call them were never worshiped as God. We never directed our devotion. They appeared, delivered their message, and disappeared, never to be talked about again. You, on the other hand, worship Jesus, direct your devotion to him, and make him the center of your religion.

      Why do you keep not responding to this important distinction?

  14. Concerned Reader says:

    What you wrote about faith manifesting in good works is completely irrelevant. Protestants believe that good works won’t save you if you don’t accept Jesus as your lord and savior. Do you deny that?

    Quite calling what I point out as irrelevant, it’s not irrelevant. You have to be godly to be a Christian, all believe this regardless of denomination.

    Annelise has told you (as have I) that many Protestants say “we don’t exactly know who is saved.” When you say this: “Protestants believe that good works won’t save you if you don’t accept Jesus as your lord and savior. Do you deny that?” You have to realize what this really means for the Christians is that, Jesus is G-d, but G-d is not the limited man, nor is G-d limited to a specific organization or community. A person could be “faithfully following Jesus,” (,G-d,) without being of a Christian confession.

    How many Protestants actually see the process would be roughly analogous to the notion of “the righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come,” while in Judaism righteousness technically falls under following faithfully either Jewish or Noachide Halacha, and these actions for lack of a better phrase constitute a relatively sure “religious safe zone vis one’s walk,” there is nobody saying that G-d is limited to Working through this means.

    For Christians, Jesus’ atoning death and his resurrection are a factual finished work of G-d’s plan, so technically, doctrinally, “all are saved through Jesus, and none are saved apart from him,” but how this actually plays out, and “who is “saved” nobody knows. It’s up to G-d. CS Lewis gets into this quite a bit, as did Tolkien ( from a Catholic viewpoint.)

    • Dina says:

      Con, if I think what you said is irrelevant I will say so. I think your arguments are riddled with irrelevancies. Don’t be so thin-skinned and just show me why I’m wrong.

      Are you saying that evangelical Christians believe that they don’t know who is going to hell? That they believe you can emphatically reject Jesus and still get to heaven by virtue of your good works?

      I know for a fact that they do believe that if you emphatically and categorically reject Jesus as I do then you are going to hell. The fact that some Protestants don’t believe this doesn’t matter (see, I didn’t use the word “irrelevant”). It doesn’t matter because a significant majority does believe this and they have the scriptures to support their belief.

      By the way, the Talmud (which is sacred to us) teaches that every good deed is rewarded and therefore even idol worshipers can be considered righteous.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        The fact that some Protestants don’t believe this doesn’t matter (see, I didn’t use the word “irrelevant”). If I used this line of reasoning Dina, it would be like saying, it doesn’t matter if you are an Orthodox Jew, because the majority of Jews are not orthodox, they don’t believe as you do. A person can categorically reject Jesus as he is presented if that presentation is wrong, and this would not be willfully rejecting him. Again, (and I can’t stress this enough,) Jesus is not limited to operating through Christianity.

        • Dina says:

          Con, you don’t respond to the argument. Instead you get distracted by an apples-to-oranges comparison.

          Nevertheless, I will follow your tangent and explain to you about the different Jewish factions. Orthodox Jews claim to have an authentic, unbroken tradition, directly from Sinai. Not a single other Jewish group even pretends to claim such a thing. For example, Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Jews do not believe that the Torah is a divine document, nor do they believe that theirs is the original, authentic Judaism. If they want the real thing, they know where to go.

          On the other hand, most Christian denominations claim to represent the absolute truth, that their understanding of scripture is the only right way to understand it, and so on. Even you do this, when you claim that other Christians have misrepresented Jesus to us Jews.

          Here’s another difference. Among Orthodox Jews, there is a lot of disagreement, but we all agree on the fundamentals. We disagree over hairsplitting differences in customs and minor laws, never about the Oneness of God, the eternal nature of His Torah and His covenant with the Jewish people, the sanctity of the Sabbath, the importance of the kosher dietary laws.

          On the other hand, Christians disagree over the fundamentals: who is saved, the nature of God, what the trinity means, whether God is one (Unitarians) or God is three (Trinitarians), the nature of atonement, the importance or non-importance of works–I mean, these are major cornerstones of their faith!

          For this reason, I can argue that Protestants disagree with you and that would be a relevant point; but you cannot argue that non-Orthodox Jews disagree with me, as that would not be relevant. I hope you understand the difference.

          I hope you will now answer the question: Are you saying that evangelical Christians believe that they don’t know who is going to hell? That they believe you can emphatically reject Jesus and still get to heaven by virtue of your good works?

          Don’t tell me that I’m worshiping Jesus without knowing it. Puh-lease. That’s beyond insulting. My forebears chose death over acceptance of this type of idolatry. I’m here today because of their loyalty to God.

          Also don’t tell me that if I reject Jesus the way he’s been misrepresented, then it’s not willful. Jesus has been represented to me in a lot of different ways. Including your way. I’m still unimpressed, I still categorically and emphatically reject him. I find worship of him repulsive and disgusting and abhorrent. The very idea offends my sensibilities. According to evangelical Christians, am I going to hell? A lot of them, if not an outright vast majority of them, would say yes. Do you still deny this?

          • Dina says:

            For the sake of accuracy, I need to correct what I wrote here. Conservative and Orthodox Judaism do believe the Torah was written with divine inspiration. More to the point, they cannot claim an unbroken chain of transmission because these movements arose in the nineteenth century.

            My point still stands, but I need to make sure that everything I say is true.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            That’s beyond insulting. Dina, I’m not claiming you worship Jesus. In the Christian worldview Jesus IS HASHEM. You worship Hashem.

          • Dina says:

            If A = B and B = C then A = C.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Well Dina, there are sages that don’t even go as far as you do with this condemnation. I have never advocated conversion of Jews, I know you believe in and follow the Bible, etc. It is you who are condemning my position here with all of this, despite that Ive used Christian scripture and tradition to back what i’ve said respecting the fact that we don’t know who is saved. I have answered your question without giving space to your rhetorical spinning.

            You say that Christianity is repulsive to you. That’s Fine. Take it up with hashem for allowing our pitiful little sect to become a religion that abolished European idolatry, allowing people to place faith in it. Talk to hashem for allowing us to know (without relying on Christian sources) that our founder was a real historical figure. Take it up with your sages for not rooting out Christianity when it arose.

            If you find Christianity so terrible and offensive, why aren’t you and the rabbis going out into the world teaching distant and various nations that have never heard of the bible, or Jews, and teaching them about G-d the right way? The reason I used my comparison is that you are using one country’s brand of evangelicalism and using it as an umbrella to condemn a whole diverse group of people and ideological diversities. You are always accusing me of misrepresentation. You say Christians can be good people, but then you take that which contributed to their goodness and drag it through the dirt like worthless junk.

            I was raised in a protestant home, I have catholic family, I deeply respect the Eastern orthodox Church. It is because I know about Christian history and various traditions that I don’t condemn people or movements with blanket statements.

            I have told you, and Analiese has told you, based on Christian scripture, we don’t know who is saved, because getting saved is a lifelong process. Make of that what you wil, but as is often the case here, I answer your questions, (but its not an answer you accept or want to hear) so you accuse me of not answering.

          • Dina says:

            Con, I don’t understand your anger. You should know, if you read Tanach, that idolatry is an abomination to God. If I believe worshiping Jesus is idolatry, then I should find such worship abhorrent. Now, you know that Jews believe this, so why are you surprised?

            That’s number one. Number two, you gave me a list of questions I should ask Hashem. Like why He allowed Christianity to replace European idolatry. In your mind, the obvious answer is that Christianity is therefore a good movement. Your questions are emotional. I will show you this by giving you a list of questions to ask Hashem:

            Why did He allow Islam to replace Eastern idolatry?
            If ISIS is evil, why is He allowing it to sweep through the Middle East?
            Why did He allow Christians to persecute and kill in the name of their religion?
            If the Jews are His chosen people, why did He allow millions of them to be killed by Christians over the centuries, with six million in one war in the Holocaust?

            You see what I mean?

            You asked, if Christianity is so awful, why aren’t Jews out there making converts? That’s like beating a man until he’s unconscious and then yelling at him to drive himself to the hospital. After centuries of burning us at the stake, mass murdering us, forcing us to convert, forcing us into disputations after which you punished us for speaking our minds, you have the nerve to tell us to go out into the world to make converts. (You personally did not do these things, but you bear the moral legacy of Christianity in our eyes, fair or not). We’re in exile and everybody hates us; all we want is Christians and Muslims to leave us alone. We wouldn’t be having this argument if you hadn’t come here to preach to us.

            You can say all you want that you don’t know who is going to hell. Annelise can say what she wants as well. There are millions of Protestants in this country who disagree with you. Not one or two–millions. And they have the scriptural citations to support it.

            One last word: I don’t condemn the practitioners, but the movement; I don’t agree with Hinduism or Buddhism. That doesn’t mean I find the practitioners of these religion to be horrible or offensive. I don’t believe I have to respect everyone’s beliefs; I do believe I have to respect good people. I respect their right to worship according to their conscience, and I expect them to respect my right to worship according to mine.

        • Sharbano says:

          Jsus “is Hashem”?? And we worship Hashem? By inclusion you are saying we are worshiping Jsus by abstentia. Your attempts of rationalization via theological abstractions doesn’t comport with rational thought. On the one hand there is Jsus who, by all accounts, was human. Since he lived and died he can be no different than I. Hashem on the other hand has not, and cannot be seen. Therefore there is no equality between the two. As Amos 3:7 says, He will do nothing without revealing His secrets to his servants, the prophets. There is no prophet that has revealed this teachings you espouse, as in the “logos”, Jsus is Hashem etc. Amos says “revealed by his servants the prophets”. Your “revelation” is by men who were Not prophets, ergo it has to be false.

  15. Concerned Reader says:

    Mr. Man subzero, I see all that you wrote there. And I also agree with it, (and as someone who knows the classical explanations of the trinity.) As you said, coequal means, same rank, same authority,, while hierarchy is (not same rank,) and means one of lesser station subject to another of a higher station. Both can’t be right at the same time, and in the same respect.

    In classical trinitarianism (The father, Jesus, and the holy spirit, are all said to have one divine nature.) The father was in the beginning, with the word, and with his spirit, they were all there before creation. Genesis 1:1, John 1:1. There was never a time when G-d was without his reason (Logos), or his spirit, so we know that the Son always was deemed to be together with G-d, and with G-d’s spirit. This is not to say however that a corporeal human nature (Jesus) was there in the beginning, but the Logos, which appeared to many in the Tanakh as the “angel” of The Lord.(Hebrews 1:1)

    Now, when trinitarians describe members of the trinity as coequal, it is always and only in the context of talking about the divine nature, not ever the economy or rank of the persons. From the first usage of the word trinity (found in Tertullian) the notion of the Economy or rank of persons was maintained. It’s called functional subordination.

    “Functional subordination is a term denoting the completely orthodox view that Christ’s activity ad extra is originated in the Father, just as his person ad intra finds its origin in God the Father, alongside the Son’s being equal to the Father in essence. I’ll try to elaborate here. The doctrine of the Trinity maintains that Christ is ‘eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light’, and so forth. In other words, the Son is from the Father, essentially. The most common analogy for the Nicenes in demonstrating this point was sun and shine, or light and radiance. The two cannot be separated, yet the latter finds it origin in the former, and the two also share a community of substance, i.e., they are absolutely equal in nature.” http://www.tektonics.org/guest/psfuncsub.html

    The Economy of the Divine Trinity

    The Father is the source of everything while the Son is the course, of all that God has (Col. 2:9). Finally, the Holy Spirit is the means through which all that God is can be dispensed to His chosen people. As an example, we all have one mind, but when describing the mind’s operation, the description falls into categories of Thinker, Thinking, and thought. I am the thinker, I do the thinking, and I have thought. These are 3 distinct aspects to the one nature of the mind.

    Tertulluan gives an example from sunlight to describe how there is only one coequal nature (the intrinsic properties of what makes light that which it is,) and yet, the distinct relational properties of light, ie the economy of it. Light just is, it shines, and it heats. Each of these properties is a unique distinct property of light, but there can only be one nature of light, and you can’t compartmentalize one aspect of it as intrinsic, while the others are deemed to be accidents, or created manifestations of light. Light being, light shining, and light heating are 3 aspects of the single coequal nature of light.

    The way you are reading the trinitarian usage of the term coequal, is not at all what orthodox mean within the context that they use the term. If coequal meant authority, then the arguments over oneness Pentecostal, Marcionism, etc. would be meaningless. If coequal meant what you mean by it, Christianity would teach Jesus only traditions like Marcionite teachers did, which it doesn’t.

    The reason the son and spirit were deemed coequal at Nicea in 325 was because of other doctrines that taught that the son and spirit were creations of G-d, (Gnosticism) and we all agree that creations cannot be worshipped, or be subjects of cultic reverence. It’s also important to note (as you did) that the son is subject to the father’s will, (indeed if the son is called the Logos of G-d,) then this has to be true.

    • mansubzero says:

      “The Father is the source of everything while the Son is the course, of all that God has (Col. 2:9). Finally, the Holy Spirit is the means through which all that God is can be dispensed to His chosen people. As an example, we all have one mind, but when describing the mind’s operation, the description falls into categories of Thinker, Thinking, and thought. I am the thinker, I do the thinking, and I have thought. These are 3 distinct aspects to the one nature of the mind.”

      does the son have it’s OWN thinking ability?
      does the father have it’s own thinking ability?
      does the ghost have it’s own thinking ability?

      is each person able to think for itself?

      in the mind of the son, does it know when the end of the world is going to come?
      in the mind of the father, does it know when the end of the world is going to come?

      does each person in trinity share 1 mind?

      is EACH person CONSCIOUS of the fact that IT does not KNOW what the other mind knows?

      • LarryB says:

        subzero
        for all tour questions.. What does it matter? I know I don’t know what your thinking.

        • mansubzero says:

          i am thinking how to destroy trinity using god given common sense. can you help me?

          • Dina says:

            Mansubzero, it’s pretty easy. Just read the Tanach.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Man subzero if Jesus is only a man, he is a man like all others, and the following statement would be fully wrong: Philippians 2:10-11. A trinitarian can say this because to him Jesus is a manifestation of the oneG-d, not limited to a human body, mind, or soul, not a go between.

    • Dina says:

      Okay, Con, let’s say there’s a man, I’ll call him Ollie Oglethorpe, and he worships a trinity. His trinity is not the father, the son, and the holy ghost. He names the persons in his trinity the God, the Bush, and the Fire. His reasoning: God manifested to Moses as a Bush inside a Fire that did not consume It, and also as column of Fire that led the Israelites through the desert–but especially, consider the fact that the Bush talking was the moment Moses was appointed to save the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt–so all of this points to the Bush being the actual savior. The Bush is actually the Word of God, you see. It’s pretty obvious if you think about it.

      Ollie Oglethorpe would never commit the sin of idolatry by actually making an image of the Bush or the Fire, and he would patiently explain to you that the persons of the Bush and the Fire are not actually God, only their minds are God’s mind, and that God is not limited to operating through them, of course. So it’s all right to pray to the Bush and the Fire and sing their praises and in general to direct his devotion to them.

      Please explain to me how this is different from your brain-twisting justification of Jesus worship. Why would you consider this type of worship idolatry? Maybe you wouldn’t?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, G-D called to him FROM WITHIN THE BUSH, “Moses! Moses!” (Is it an angel or G-d in the bush according to scripture? Or Both as scripture says?

        And Moses said, “Here I am.”

        5 “Do not come any closer,” G-d said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the G-d of your father,[a] the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac and the G-d of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was AFRAID TO LOOK AT G-D. (What is physically there that Moses is afraid to look upon Dina? Is Moses an idolater?

        So, Dina, we have here the encounter of Moses with G-d, the angel of G-d, the Bush, and the fire. Does Moses sing the fire’s praises? The Bush’s, the angel’s? What if angel in these verses tells us the role of the entity, but not it’s nature?

        G-d can speak through a phenomenon, be it the angel, the fire, the bush, or Jesus, but G-d is not limited to them ie I ought not to tell you or anyone, “bow before the bush.” If you ask me though, Has G-d revealed himself through these phenomenon? I would say, yes. As Moses says, as Jacob says, as scripture says. I would not make any phenomenon a go between with G-d. Do you think Moses was brain twisting when he said Hashem spoke through the burning bush? Did it wrack his brain the way it’s bothering you?

        • Dina says:

          Christians don’t pray to Jesus? They don’t express their adoration of him, praise him, and direct their devotion to him?

        • Dina says:

          Notice, Con, that you did not answer my question. Is the God-Bush-Fire trinity idolatry? Why or why not?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            You are focusing on a god bush fire trinity. Was Moses committing idolatry by saying G-d spoke in the bush? If you answer that, you will have answered your own question.

          • Dina says:

            Con, saying that God’s voice spoke from within the bush is not the same as saying the bush is God. So now answer the question. Is it idolatrous for our good friend Ollie Oglethorpe to worship a God-Bush-Fire trinity? Why or why not?

    • mansubzero says:

      “In classical trinitarianism (The father, Jesus, and the holy spirit, are all said to have one divine nature.)”

      you said “to HAVE …” so what i understand is that what EACH person has is not god.
      so each person does not have god

      COLLECTIVELY they are god /trinity

      even here there seems to be in equality. why is the church calling out to a SINGLE person called “jesus” when that PERSON IS not trinity/god?

      you are calling out to a PERSON who HAS a divine nature, you are not calling out to all 3 because their is not EQUALITY between the 3 and jesus IS not trinity.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Orthodox and Catholic people, (and mainline protestants) Pray in the name (singular) of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

        • mansubzero says:

          even when john’s jesus asks christians to call out to a PERSON , he has his jesus say “the father is GREATER than me.”

          john 14:28

          it’s amazing that the most pagan gospel of them all has christians call out to one person then tell them that ANOTHER person is greater than the son.

          in your worship service how do you do prayer ?

          do you call out to jesus AND at the same time say that the father is GREATER?
          his greatest must have something which the son lacks.

          this clearly means that the person of jesus is lesser than the person of the father

          i agree, john is trying to make jesus into a god, but clearly he is missing parts of co equality .

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Most protestants I know pray to the father in Jesus’ name. I never say, Jesus would you… in a prayer, and being that I was raised non trinitarian, I never prayed to Jesus. I learned however that the NT without question contains the trinity, (or analogous ideas that led directly to it) because you must read all the sources using eisogesis if you are to say the ideas aren’t there.

            Even the Ebionite gospel holds that Jesus the man (had the eternal Christ indwelling him at Baptism.) That gospel regards “the Christ” as one of the Archangels (not unlike some mystical traditions that say Enoch became the angel Metatron.) Paul uses passages in his epistles from the Tanakh where it refers to Hashem, and he says they refer to Jesus. (Paul’s epistles are our earliest sources written in the 50s-60s CE.)

            John’s gospel is actually a Jewish gospel, even though the author is antisemitic. He is writing his text (according to Scholars) sometime in 90CE after Christians have been expelled from the synagogue (probably because of Christology.) If the expulsion of Christians was just due to messianic ideas, they wouldn’t have split off. There is nothing wrong in Judaism with claiming to be the messiah, so the Christians must have split for other reasons, like claims made in John’s gospel. We know from the Talmud and the incident with Acher that there were some who held views of “two powers in heaven.” Now, many (in scholarship) believe that this refers to Jewish gnostics and not followers of Jesus, or to Jewish Christians. I would say Jewish Christians do not really believe in two powers, as Jesus’ authority only ever stems from the father in Christian sources (even trintarian ones,) ie he is subject to G-d’s will, and is called the Logos of the father.

            When you say In John 1:1 the word was “a god,” it still wouldn’t designate a “second god” in John’s theological thought, because the word for “word” is Logos. John’s christology is a wisdom Christology. As proverbs 9 is saying wisdom ( or torah) was with G-d from the beginning, so John is saying Christ was. You wouldn’t ever say G-d existed without his wisdom.

    • mansubzero says:

      “Jesus is a manifestation of the oneG-d, not limited to a human body, mind, or soul, not a go between.”

      why has the church made the second person more famous than the first one? in your god exists persons who are not identical triplets. the father watches the son incarnate, are they “one” in this? the father runs the universe while the son resigns his position in running the universe because he had to physically experience death. are they “one ” in this? one PERSON (note i said PERSON) said , ” i do not know the hour, nobody does, except the father in heaven”

      this is a PERSON speaking man

      are they “one” in knowledge?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        The reconciliation for ” i do not know the hour, nobody does, except the father in heaven” is found in Philippians 2. The Son set aside his glory and station (not ontologically, but in terms of rank,) at the incarnation. The Son in taking on a human nature limited himself, as the form of a servant. Thus, Jesus should not be made central as oneness Pentecostals, or Marcionites made him, i agree. G-d manifested in the burning Bush, he manifested in the Captain of the Lord’s host in Joshua 5, he spoke to Moses face to face, but this did not make G-d limited in operation by these phenomenon, or solely identifiable with them. A Christian can say and mean “G-d manifested in Christ,” without limiting G-d to Christ or to Christianity as i’ve noted in other posts. Drawing attention to Jesus can indeed be heretical (as the Church has always taught,) if it detracts from the father’s glory.

        • Jim says:

          For example,

          When Jesus detracted from the Father’s glory by rewriting Pesach into the Last Supper.

          Jim

        • Sharbano says:

          “The Son set aside his glory and station”

          This is the way I’ve heard every Xtian’s attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable. There is little difference between This and mankind’s previous “incarnations”, going back to Nimrod. If it is possible to “detach” then there are multiple entities, which by all accounts, are multiple gods. It is the same with “manifestations”. Each manifestation would be a god, therefore there are an infinite amount of gods according to this philosophy. It would be more accurate to say G-d used a ‘conduit’ in order to communicate. A conduit is not a manifestation, as in materialization.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Sharbano, mankind’s previous incarnations? Care to elaborate on this?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            If it is possible to “detach” then there are multiple entities, which by all accounts, are multiple gods. There isn’t a detaching in the incarnation Sharbano, we draw the distinction between the incorporeal Son of G-d, and the human nature Jesus. That’s the point. If you are concerned about a detachment, how do you reconcile your concern with the notion of a Shaliach that calls itself G-d as in Genesis 31:13?

          • Sharbano says:

            “Sharbano, mankind’s previous incarnations? Care to elaborate on this?”

            It is brought to light in the way the prophets speak of exiles being beasts of the field, whereas Daniel records the King of Babylon’s vision being that of a man. A single man that incorporates all the exiles. There is a congruity of similitude in that vision and in its destruction. A man, of human form, that is exalted in the words of Isaiah 14.

            “we draw the distinction between the incorporeal Son of G-d, and the human nature Jesus.”

            By simple definition, incorporeal is without a physical nature, of which Jsus was. It is dishonest to say one is human while also being incorporeal. The only purpose in attempting to glorify Jsus and elevate his stature to the level of Hashem is to impart an authority that doesn’t exist. If this man Jsus is nothing more than another Jew he has No authority over the nation. The attempt to make him into a god, co-equal With G-d, then voila, he has the same authority as Hashem giving Torah at Sinai. We can see why G-d decided to have a “national revelation” as a foundation, whereas Jsus says, yes I am the messiah (soon to be a god) but don’t tell anyone.

            Your referencing of Gen 31 is of no consequence. Clearly we are dealing with an angel, an agent. If you have done a thorough study of comparative religions surely you understand how this is of no consequence and answers your many questions of the matter. You are not alone in not understanding these biblical concepts which many a Xtian cannot relate to.

        • mansubzero says:

          ” The Son in taking on a human nature limited himself”

          The PERSON of the son is speaking not his human nature. How does limiting himself affect what he says ? Many of gods servants speak all sorts of blasphemies and there human nature doesn’t limit them in what they say. Earlier you said INFINITE can enter the world and not be affected in knowledge, sight, hearing and power. So what happened to jesus person WHICH IS NOT DEPENDANT on it’s created flesh nature? What CONNECTION IS THERE between jesus person on earth and person who is not on earth? Are you worshipping gods who experience limited knowledge in the flesh and are concious of their limited knowledge? When jesus said he didn’t know the hour what was his omniscience attribute doing ? Was it disconnected? Working without jesus’ person? Did it LATER inform jesus about the hour?

          • Dina says:

            Mansubzero, you’ve been making some really excellent points on the logical impossibility of the trinity. A friend of mine wrote to me about this very topic, and I’m taking the liberty of posting what he wrote here because it supports and emphasizes what you’ve been saying:

            “If the Father and Jesus are one, in what way are they one, and how are they at the same time two?

            “Consider, if Jesus and the Father are one, they are not one physically. God is not physical. If they share a mind, then they are one, but they can be in no way two for nothing separates them. Suppose then that they have two different minds. Then they are two unique personalities. Having different minds, do they have different opinions? Does Jesus always yield to the Father when they are different? If so, then what makes him divine? If they have different opinions, it can only be because they do not share the same degree of knowledge and wisdom. Presuming Jesus to be the lesser of the two beings, he does not have the qualities of God, inasmuch as he does not have omniscience.

            “But let us say instead that Jesus does have all the qualities of God. He shares in omniscience, etc. But he is a different mind (because they are not separated as bodies.) They take separate actions. For example, Jesus comes to Earth in a human form. The Father does not. Now you have two distinct entities, each with all the qualities of a divine being. So you have two gods.

            “Oops. The Christian does not want to say that either. What then?

            “Oh they will spout some mumbo jumbo about having a divine essence they share. Perhaps they can tell us what that is. They have only said nonsense, because they have now made them both partake of a thing external to themselves. This divinity is something upon which they both rely for their status of godhood. Absurdity.

            “The Torah is our guide, of course, and we are prone to error. But…one can show that it is logically unsound to attribute to God one divine nature but three persons.”

  16. Concerned Reader says:

    Did Jacob have qualms about asking the “angel” to bless the lads? Scripture assumes that G-d truly speaks through various phenomenon, and you are right, he doesn’t make a go between out of these phenomenon, but neither do Christians who know the doctrine. The Christian bible calls Jesus a mediator of the new covenant, (as Moses mediated with G-d and Israel) but this doesn’t make them a must have go between.

    • Dina says:

      Con, you missed the previous verse. It puts it all in context. Go back and reread.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm –may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.” I haven’t missed anything Dina. This “angel” is the angel that says “I am the G-d of bethel.”

        • Concerned Reader says:

          The verses flow interchangeably here.

        • Dina says:

          Con, in the Hebrew it reads like this:

          “O God before Whom my forefathers Abraham and Isaac walked–God Who shepherds me from my inception until this day: May the angel who redeems me from all evil bless the lads etc.”

          Subtle nuance that is lost in translation, but here is Jacob addressing God directly and asking God “may the angel and so on.” So it’s rather the opposite of what you think it says. Also, there is no capitalization in Hebrew, yet you capitalized angel.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Why would Jacob if he’s talking to Hashem directly (as in the Fatger) ask him to have a subordinate bless the lads? That still doesn’t make sense contextually.

          • Dina says:

            The angel is God’s emissary who carries God’s blessings. What does God need angels for? Yet He created them to carry out specific tasks. Will you yet answer my questions?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            I didn’t consciously capitalize angel, it wasn’t deliberate. Also, why would Jacob ask Hashem for this: “May the angel who redeems me from all evil bless.” Jacob says to Hashem, that the angel redeems him? The context suggests more.

          • Dina says:

            הרבה שלוחים למקום

            God has many messengers.

          • Dina says:

            Humans can also act as God’s emissaries to redeem. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and was God’s conduit to perform miracles on a grand and national scale. Yet no one suggests, God forbid, that Moses is Hashem.

  17. Yisroel Blumenthal, are you deleting posts? My original post was posted on January 25, 2015 at 4:36 am

  18. If not, here it is again.

    I wish it was true that replacement theology (properly defined) was on its way out, but you’re relatively blind to anti-Zionistic Christian prejudice, and that form of Jew hatred has a tremendous ground swell in the West, the churches (even Bible loving ones) are being dragged along behind, and many of the liberal and ecumenical churches are in the vanguard of this ugly movement.

    It is Islamic anti-Zionism that drives much of the terrorism, as many vigilant Jews know all too well, and it is secular and ‘Christian’ (though it is vehemently anti-Biblical and Manichean) anti-Zionism (along with older forms of Jew hatred) that facilitate it. I don’t have sources to share now, but the evidence for this is abundant to those who look.

    Nevertheless, the anger of man shall praise Him, the remainder He will restrain.

  19. Concerned Reader says:

    The angel is God’s emissary who carries God’s blessings. How is this different than nations who practice veneration of forces of nature, or who respect sages or Shamans?

  20. Concerned Reader says:

    Why isn’t my God-Bush-Trinity example idolatry? You still haven’t answered the question. Because you provide an example of G-d speaking through a bush, Moses saying, “hey G-d is talking to me,” Your hypothetical is actually in scripture in a sense.

    • Dina says:

      Con, that’s exactly my point. This is a scriptural support for a God-Bush-Fire trinity–why is it idolatry?

      Or is such a trinity not idolatry, according to you? Is good ole Ollie not committing any sin by worshiping the bush?

      Well?

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Answer your own question. Moses isn’t an idolater is he? Moses was looking at a burning bush that was not consumed and saying look “G-d is speaking.” It even says he was afraid to look upon G-d! Is the Bush G-d in totality? Or are we both smart enough to realize that the word of G-d, is speaking through the physical bush and flame (but no a physical bush and fire is not divine?) You are setting up a ridiculous premise. Just because G-d may be triune in his nature, does not make him any less one.

        Its almost like you feel that Christians don’t have the same kind of doctrinal warnings that are found in the Torah. We do you know.

        • Dina says:

          Con, why is my premise ridiculous? I’m interested to see if you can show me the difference between the trinity I made up and the Christian trinity. Mine even has more scriptural support.

  21. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Jeremiah 2:4 Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: 2:5 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? 2:6 Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? 2:7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.

  22. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

  23. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Ezekiel 16:44 Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.

  24. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

    1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

    1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

    1:5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

    1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

  25. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Deuteronomy 31:27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck; behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against HaShem; and how much more after my death?

  26. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Ezekiel 16:35 Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD: 16:36 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them; 16:37 Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.

  27. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Ezekiel 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

  28. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Ezekiel 36:23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

    36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

    36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

    36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

    36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

  29. Yehudah Rosen says:

    Jeremiah 8:7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.

  30. Concerned Reader says:

    Sharbano, its not that I don’t understand the concept of the Shaliach that you bring forward, its that such a concept doesn’t accord with the plain sense of the verses where the supposed agent says, “I am G-d.” It should be clear to everyone that no created agent can say this, and maintain monotheism. Only G-d can rightly say, I am G-d.

    If the word malach meant to convey only the function of the entity as a messenger, (and not its ontological status,) than in verses like Genesis 31:13 where the malach says “I am the G-d of bethel,” make better sense to say that on an ontological level, this is G-d himself speaking, but in the form of a messenger.

    This interpretation is further backed up by Genesis 48:16 where Jacob (praying to G-d) asks the angel to bless the lads. Contextually, why would you be speaking to hashem himself, but then asking blessings from an underling agent?

    It should seem obvious, that G-d manifests himself in discrete ways as scripture shows it. No man can see him and live, yet Moses saw his Back. That’s a discrete manifestation. Israel saw no form or likeness on Sinai, but they heard a voice, again a discrete manifestation. Christians are saying that the voice of G-d, (the word) was heard through Jesus. We are not saying that G-d is physical, or limiting G-d to Jesus or Christianity.

    The reason I don’t accept the Shaliach interpretation, is that it is thoroughly based on eisogesis based on assumptions that G-d will not manifest in a form. Scripture itself contradicts your assertions that G-d will not appear. All of your explanations for why G-d isn’t actually appearing are based on eisogetical assumptions based on your interpretation of the Torah.

    When you say “G-d does not appear in the Torah,” you therefore have to postulate some prophetic vision or inspiration, or a creation of G-d that allows an agent (be they human or angel) to say metaphorically, “I am G-d.” If the angel in Genesis 31 (a created agent by your reading) can metaphorically say “I am G-d” as hashem’s mouthpiece, then what is to stop the myriad millions of Hindus from also saying I am god metaphorically?

    As per reincarnation in Judaism, what do you think of this article? http://www.mesora.org/SaadiaGaon-Reincarnation.htm

    hope all is well with you BTW

    • Sharbano says:

      I have noticed a trend of a particular term used by Xtians that would give an indication of authority in deciding what methods are employed to come to certain conclusions. This term is “eisogesis”. I’ve heard this more and more in debates between Rabbis and Xtian scholars.

      Some definitions as “eisogesis: subjectivism. Reading into text something that isn’t there at all”.
      “Eisegesis 1] is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases”

      I would say this applies to a much greater degree to the Xtian narrative. What is at issue, though, is the sole purpose of such an assertion. In using such a term it removes Jewish history, Jewish Tradition, and ultimately the Jew himself from the text itself. In that removal a person can insert his own tradition and even himself into that text. This is what Xtian Has done and continues to do. We haven’t merely come to some “Conclusions” regarding the texts but are relying on a transmission. There is no “eisogesis” here, instead there is a History. Xtians are basing their “exegesis” without the benefit of a multitude of sources. Why was there a necessity of a Talmud, but to maintain what was taught even before Sinai. Just because the nations have done such a poor job in theirs doesn’t mean the Jew has lost theirs. Therefore, using such a word as eisogesis is nothing more than a tactic to discredit and discount what has been known for thousands of years. It’s a poor method and unworthy to even use in a discussion, since a person can throw out this term and end any further comment. But the question remains, how does This work using exegesis and Jsus.

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