What does the Bible Really say about Christianity

What does the Bible Really say about Christianity

Most counter-missionary articles will tell you what the Bible does NOT say about Christianity. The typical counter-missionary essay will study a passage from the Bible that missionaries quote as if it were a prophecy about Jesus, and demonstrate why in fact the passage has nothing to do with Jesus.

But does the Bible say nothing about Christianity? The Jewish prophets gave the Jewish people an understanding of the future that will befall them. The fact is that Christianity and the Church played a large role in the history of Israel. We would expect that this world religion would deserve some mention in the writings of the prophets.

Before we begin our search let us clarify to ourselves what it is that we are searching for. The audience of the Jewish prophets is obviously the Jewish people (Psalm 147:19). We must look at Christianity through the eyes of the Jewish people if we want to find what the prophets of Judaism said about it. From the historical standpoint of the Jew, what would be the prominent features of Christianity and the Church? It will be these aspects of Christianity that we could expect the prophets of Israel to talk about.

From the Jewish perspective, the most prominent aspect of Christianity would be the doctrine of the trinity. Israel’s calling in this world is to proclaim the absolute sovereignty of God, and the Church philosophy that attributes divinity to a human while at the same time paying lip-service to the monotheistic ideal constitutes the greatest opposition to Israel’s core calling.

Another marked facet of Christianity from the standpoint of the Jew would be the teaching of replacement theology. The covenant that the Jewish people share with God assures them that God’s purpose in the world will be achieved through Israel. All of mankind will enjoy God’s favor when Israel merits the blessings that were promised to their fathers, and only when Israel enters into the blessed promises that gave them hope through this long exile.

The Church teaching, that asserts that those who put their faith in the savior of Christianity become inheritors of Israel’s promise, represents the antithesis of Israel’s hope and vision. The fact that some Christian denominations have belatedly acknowledged that the natural Israel is “also” an inheritor of God’s promise, does little to mitigate the error of replacement theology. The fact remains that all Christians believe that the promises of God are NOT reserved for the children of Jacob who hoped for the God that is known to Israel, but rather they are reserved for those who put their trust in a man that Israel never knew as a deity.

Finally, we would expect the prophets to speak about the terrible persecutions that the Church perpetrated against the Jewish people.

To summarize; we expect the prophets to speak of a false teaching about the nature of God, we expect the prophets to speak of a national entity that claims the promises of Israel for herself, and we expect the prophets to speak of the same national entity persecuting the Jewish people.

The book of Daniel provides us with an all-encompassing understanding of world history. In the 7th chapter of the book, Daniel tells us of a vision acompanied by the explanation of this vision supplied by an angel. Daniel saw four beasts rising out of the sea. Each of these beasts is representative of a world empire. The first beast is understood to represent Babylon, the second, Persia, and the third beast symbolizes Greece.

When it comes to the fourth beast, Daniel’s vision becomes more detailed. Daniel describes the beast as possessing ten horns. But an eleventh horn rises from the head of the beast and three of the former horns are uprooted before it. Daniel describes the eleventh horn as possessing eyes like that of a man and a mouth that speaks haughty words (7:8). Ultimately, the fourth beast is destroyed because of the haughty words spoken by the eleventh horn (7:11).

The angel who explains the vision provided further illumination about this eleventh horn. The angel tells us that this horn will do battle against the nation of holy exalted ones, and will be successful up until a certain point in time (7:21,25). We are also given further insight into the “haughty words” of this eleventh horn. The angel tells us that this eleventh horn will direct its words against the “Uppermost” – a reference to God (7:25). In that same verse we learn that the eleventh horn will plan to bring about a change concerning the appointed times and the law (- see Hebrews 7:12).

In the 11th chapter of the book of Daniel we find more information about a national entity that speaks against God. We are told that “the king” will exalt himself above every god,  he will utter fantastic words against the God of gods and he will succeed until a certain time (11:36).

It is clear from these two prophecies in Daniel that this national entity who speaks haughtily against God, will flourish until the Messianic age is about to begin. The destruction of this national entity is intimately tied in with the ushering in of the Messianic age (7:11,26, 11:45).

In the books of the other prophets we find that the destruction of one particular nation, namely; “Edom” (otherwise known as “Se’ir” or “Esau”), is an essential part of ushering in the age of the kingdom of God (Isaiah 34:5-8, 63:1-4, Obadiah 1:21). It is understood that “Edom” is not simply a reference to the small province that existed to the south of Israel in ancient times. It is obvious from these prophecies that “Edom” is a nation that plays a major role in world history and will prosper right up until the Messianic age. Furthermore, the destruction of Edom described by these prophets parallels the destruction of the fourth beast described by Daniel, and that fourth beast is a world empire.

We turn now to Ezekiel to help us tie up the loose ends. In the 35th chapter of Ezekiel we learn how “Edom” will be destroyed before the kingdom comes to Israel. Ezekiel goes a bit further than the other prophets. Ezekiel tells us WHY Edom must be destroyed. Ezekiel mentions the haughty words against God that were prominent in Daniel’s vision (35:13), but Ezekiel also speaks of another sin of Edom. Ezekiel tells that God incriminates Edom with the words: “Because you have said: the two nations and the two lands shall belong to me and we shall inherit it…” (35:10). The sin of Edom is that they attempted to usurp the nationhood and the land of Israel. Edom wanted to swallow Israel and Judah and still be Edom (the “two nations” mentioned by the prophet refer to Israel and Judah, alternately they could be a reference to Israel and Edom).

This concept is alluded to in the book of Daniel as well. Daniel described the eleventh horn as “possessing eyes like that of a man”. In that same chapter in the book of Daniel, the kingdom of Israel is referred to by the term “as a man” (7:13) in contrast to the Gentile empires which are represented by beasts. But this eleventh horn, despite being part of a beast (a Gentile empire) attempts to imitate man; a Gentile national entity attempting to usurp Israel’s position.

Indeed, the prophets of Israel foresaw the advent of Christianity. “Edom” and the fourth beast’s eleventh horn correspond to Christendom and the Church. The prophets warned us about the false teaching concerning the nature of God (Daniel 7:8,11,25, 11:36, Ezekiel 35:13). The prophets predicted the Church persecution of Israel (Daniel 7:21,25, Ezekiel 35:5, Amos 1:11, Obadiah 1:10). And the Bible anticipates the doctrine of replacement theology propounded by the Church (Ezekiel 35:10, Daniel 7:8).

The prophets promised that the mask of confusion will ultimately be removed from upon the face of the nations (Isaiah 25:7). On that day the kingdom will belong to God alone (Obadiah 1:21) and all of mankind will together serve God as one (Zephaniah 3:9). May it happen speedily in our days.

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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25 Responses to What does the Bible Really say about Christianity

  1. Dk says:

    This is just as tricky as Paul’s figurative intepretation of the Tanakh in order to vindicate his beliefs. You’ve merely done the same but replaced Christianity and the Church with Edom and Gentiles. Paul was also fond of replacing literal theology with figurative and spiritual meanings. Your just like your enemy.

    • Hi DK
      Thanks for your comment, it gives me the opportunity to highlight an important point. You are correct in identifying this article as “figurative interpretation” – this would be a midrashic application of Scripture, especially the part about Edom. You are incorrect in comparing this article with Paul’s writings. I am not trying to convince anyone to change their belief system on the basis of my interpretation – as opposed to Paul – who condemns anyone who disagrees with him – to eternal damnation. Furthermore, my interpretation does not conflict in any way with the literal meaning of the texts – Paul’s does. The starting point of my article is the plain meaning of the text. The philosophy I am trying to support is the philosophy that emerges from the literal reading of the Bible.
      My goal with this article is to show how Christianity is viewed from the standpoint of one who accepts the literal message of Scripture.
      Scripture is certainly meant to be read on many levels – but the different readings will not conflict with each other – they will complement each other.
      Thanks again
      Your Pharisee friend
      Yisroel C Blumenthal

  2. Avraham HaLevi says:

    Scripture is filled with warnings about not pursuing gods of “wood and stone”. Not in the order of “stone and wood”. Not “silver and gold”. Not “earth and water”.

    What are the symbols of the two pre-eminent faiths that challenge and seek to supercede Judaism other than, chronologically, wood and stone… the Christian cross and the Islamic kaa’ba!

    So very simple… if you look.

    Maimonides was right. These faiths are for the gentiles to introduce them to Tanakh and to wean them from their pagan roots. They are utterly false, however, for Jews.

  3. Ariela says:

    So which will it be Rome, America, Europe, Edom that is?

  4. zevadyah says:

    Only one question. In your “plain meaning” of the text, Dan 7:25 give a time limit for being given into his hand. my rav said this was a period of seven years. so I really don’t see how this fits?

  5. Zevadyah
    The verse uses the same language as in 12:7 – I don’t know how you can get to 7 years on that basis – can you ask your rav what is his source? The general commentators say no such thing.

    • zevadyah says:

      What I am alluding to is between ” “. (Dan 7:25 JPS) And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a “time and times and half a time.”
      (Dan 12:7 JPS) And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he lifted up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a ” time, times, and a half “; and when they have made an end of breaking in pieces the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

      This is what I ask about. While I try to get in touch with my Rav to get his source for defining it this way, maybe you could give me your understanding of this time period?
      Thanks! Zev

  6. Zevadyah
    Daniel asked the same question – and he was told that the matter is sealed until the end (12:8,9)

  7. Ufuomaee says:

    Hi Pharisee Friend,

    I suspected as much, that from your standpoint, Christianity will be viewed as the antiChrist, if at all you use that expression.

    Of course, I disagree with that interpretation. I do believe that the Son of Man, who was given dominion (in Daniel 7:13-14) is in fact Jesus, the Messiah to come (again!). But, we can all wait for that time to come to be sure.

    If you do believe that the Messiah is to come once only (at the endtimes), then how do you interpret Isaiah 53? If that is really about the Messiah, how does that fit in to your belief of a conquering King who unites Israel and rules over the whole Earth? Will both prophesies be fulfilled in his lifetime? In fact, do you believe that when his rule begins he will eventually die like all men do? Will we all live as immortal? If not, who then will inherit his kingdom that will never end?

    Thanks for your efforts to clarify my understanding of these things.

    Sincerely, Ufuoma.

      • Ufuomaee says:

        Thanks, but any help with the others?

      • Ufuomaee says:

        Hi YPF,

        My eyes are getting tired from all the reading I am doing following your links. I’m doing that because I don’t want to be a burden to you. However, I would really appreciate it if you would answer my questions here about the Messiah (if he’s immortal (like his unending Kingdom), if we will be immortal when he comes, etc) directly, without reference to other links.

        I was just reading the link to Isaiah 53, and it is quite bulky. From what I gather, you don’t believe it is talking about the Messiah at all, but about Isreal. Am I correct?

        If that is the case, then I think this is a case of hiding the evidence. Because you have rejected Jesus, you reject any evidence that may support the claim that He is the Messiah, no matter how graphic. I think it is a far stretch to apply Isaiah 53 to Israel as a nation, and the fact that that is all you can come up with for an interpretation suggests that you have chosen to reject this prophesy concerning the Messiah, because you cannot fit it in with your perception of the Messiah as being like King David.

        I am hopeful that you will respond to me on these points… I am continuing to read up on the other links, but I would rather your state your understanding first, then direct me to where I can learn more on it (if you have posts that answer my questions better).

        Thanks for understanding!

        Cheers, Ufuoma.

        • Ufuomaee
          It makes no difference who Isaiah 53 is talking about – the last person in the world it could be is Jesus. there is no evidence for me to need to reject anything. I feel bad to send you to more links – but I did spend the time writing about these things and I don’t have the time now to rewrite everything. Please take your time reading them – some of these are bulky – but if you want to understand where I am coming from more fully – these will help
          https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/isaiah-53-teaches-that-jesus-is-not-the-messiah/
          https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/armor-bearers-isaiah-5211-2/

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Do you really believe that Jesus is the least likely candidate in all the world that Isaiah 53 is about?

            So it is more likely to be about me or you than Jesus? It would be better is you were more rational with your disagreements. Even though you don’t agree that He fulifilled those prophecies, historic evidence of Jesus death and ressurrection makes Him the most likely candidate compared to ANYONE else who ever lived.

          • Saul Goodman says:

            Hi Ufuomaee,

            Why don’t you adress the arguments set forth above by Rav Blumenthal? Did you read them, at least? Your reply shows that either you didn’t read his argument about Isaiah 53, or didn’t understand it, or read it and chose to ignore it. Not a good way to have a discussion.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Hi Saul,

            For your information and anyone else reading, I am not reading every comment on this or any other post I comment on. I really don’t have time for that. If you don’t reply me directly (like you did), I’m not likely to read your responses. As it turns out, I haven’t read Raj’s comment.

            Thanks for pointing it out. I will check it out.

            Cheers, Ufuoma.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            I’ve scrolled through. I didn’t see any comment by Raj. Please share the link.

            Cheers!

          • Ufuomaee I am “Rav Blumenthal” – Blumenthal I smy last name and “rav” is an honorific title that Saul likes to use. Saul was referring to my article on Isaiah 53. There are hundreds of articles on this blog – I realize it is much to read – but you could use the search feature – you will find it in the upper right under the heading banner – just type in a subject that you are interested in (such as “Isaiah 53”) and related articles will turn up.

          • Ufuomaee says:

            Ok then. If I have more questions, I’ll ask under those posts. But need to get on with work now.
            Have a good day.

  8. Concerned Reader says:

    Ufuomaee the Servant of Isaiah is explicitly identified as the nation Israel in the earlier chapters of Isaiah before and following chapter 53. Even Mary (the mother of Jesus) understood the nation of Israel to be G-d’s servant in Luke 1:54. The reason that Israel as a nation is regarded as the suffering servant is because it is the righteous remnant of the people who are the innocent sufferers outlined in the chapter. Those faithful to the commandments who suffer.

    There is no concept of original sin (as Christians believe in it) in Judaism, so there is no need of a divine son/savior. G-d says plainly that humans can master their evil inclinations, that only the guilty are punished for their own sins, and that the law is not to hard to be kept. (Genesis 4:7 Ezekiel 18:20 Deuteronomy 30:11-14.) To be “saved” in the Christian way of perceiving it makes no sense to Jews because G-d alone is in charge and sovereign, he created it all. (Isiah 45:7) he doesn’t have a competitor for souls in Judaism.

    Consider that in Christianity Sin is said to be the source of death, so that Satan in a sense becomes the source of sin and death. He is the angel of death in Christianity. In Judaism Satan is G-D’s prosecuter, not his competition. In fact, if Satan is the angel of death, this angel did G-d’s bidding during the Exodus plague of the first born. G-d loves everyone, not just an elect group.

    • Ufuomaee says:

      Hi Concerned Reader,

      Please may I know your name? Also, just so I know who I’m talking to, what os your religious or non-religious worldview?

      Christians do not believe that Lucifer is the angel of death, so let’s just clear that up.

      Cheers, Ufuoma.

  9. Fred says:

    So who is Lucifer, Ufu?

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